Slow Cooker Jackfruit Porcini Ragù

After asking for one for a year, I received a slowcooker as a gift.  One of my friends said, "But you're vegan.  What do you need a crockpot for?"  Convenience.  Intense flavors.  Hearty meals.  Did I mention convenience and flavors?  Overall, it's pushed my creativity into new directions, as I think of new ways to use it.  I almost feel like this is an advertisement for a slowcooker, but really, I don't think they need one.  They basically sell themselves.

As we move through the final weeks of winter, it seemed like the perfect time for one last hearty pasta dish.  Ragù is a meat-based sauce that typically served over pasta or polenta.  Whether a home cook is using beef, chicken, pork, lamb, or goose, the key to the sauce's success is that it is slow cooked.  It seemed like the perfect candidate to consider for a vegan slow cooker recipe.

While some of the traditional ingredients are kept intact, I definitely take some liberties.  Jackfruit, dried porcini mushrooms, fresh basil, garlic and rosemary create the legs of the ragù.  Dried prunes add a subtle, sweet dimension to counter the acidic overtones of the dry red wine and tomato.  At once, the ragù is complex and delicious.  It tastes amazing over pasta or polenta.  

Slow Cooker Jackfruit Porcini Ragu.jpg

Slow Cooker Jackfruit Porcini Ragù

1 14 ounce can of jackfruit packed in water, shredded

1 cup carrots, thick cut

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 1 ounce bag of dried porcini mushrooms

1 6 ounce can of tomato paste

⅔ cup dry red wine

1 cup broth (fake beef, vegetable, etc)

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

¾ cup fresh basil, packed

2 dried prunes, halved

Black pepper, to taste

1. Combine everything listed above in a slow cooker.  Cover with a lid, and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Remove prunes and rosemary sprig before serving.  Enjoy over pasta or polenta.

Jackfruit Porcini Ragu.jpg