Slow Cooker Jackfruit Porcini Ragù

This is a revision of a previous recipe. While it has a few more steps than the original, it doesn’t take much time at all to put together (less than 20 minutes). These steps were essential to creating the unbelievable flavor. Sautéing the onions and garlic creates a nice base. Allowing the dried herbs to toast and release some of their essence into the olive oil creates more flavor. And deglazing the pot with wine and burning off the alcohol from the wine are essential. In the end, this revision of the original recipe is far better than the original, and I’m excited for you to give it a try!

Ragù is an Italian meat-based sauce that is typically served over pasta or polenta.  While some of the traditional ingredients are kept intact, I definitely took some liberties.  Jackfruit, dried porcini mushrooms, dried basil, garlic and dried rosemary create the legs of the ragù.  Carrots and prunes add a subtle, sweet dimension to counter the acidic overtones of the dry red wine and tomato.

A few notes, make sure to rinse off the dried porcini mushrooms before using. Sometimes, they have sand or gritty bits stuck in them. Adding chopped up prunes may feel really different to you, but chop them small enough, and as they slow cook, they will dissolve in the sauce and deepen the flavors. If you don’t have prunes, you can stir in a little sugar at the end of the recipe (maybe 1/4 tsp), and see how it tastes to you. If it needs a little more, you can always add more!

Slow Cooker Jackfruit Porcini Ragù

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/2 – 1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried basil

½ tsp garlic powder

⅔ cup dry red wine

½ ounce package of dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and grit/dirt removed

1 cube bouillon (fake beef or vegetable – I used Edward & Sons Not-Beef Bouillon)

1 cup water

1 6 ounce can of tomato paste

1 14 ounce can of young jackfruit, drained and shredded (I used Native Forest Organic Young Jackfruit)

2 cups white mushrooms, thick sliced

1 cup carrots, thick sliced

2 dried prunes, finely chopped (see note above)

Salt, to taste

Top with fresh basil and vegan parmesan, optional

1. In a dutch oven or large pot, add olive oil, onions, garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Saute over medium heat for ~5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add rosemary, basil, garlic powder and black pepper, and continue sautéing until the onions are golden.

2. Add red wine and dried porcini mushrooms over medium heat. Allow the red wine to reduce by 50% volume, and stir every now and then. This will deglaze the pot, and also allow the alcohol to burn off. It will happen quickly (within 3 minutes or less). Once the wine is reduced, add the bouillon cube, water and tomato paste. Mix together and remove from heat.

3. Add the sauce, shredded jackfruit, white mushrooms, carrots, and prunes to a slow cooker. Mix thoroughly. Secure the lid, and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours. Remove the lid.

4. Serve over pasta or polenta. If using, top with fresh basil and vegan parmesan.

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