Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

March 25, 2019


Pork Shoulder Ragu



The pasta sauce of my youth was my grandmother’s “gravy”- the tomato sauce cooked on Sunday mornings filled with meatballs, sausage and braciole. I still dream about those afternoons around the table with relatives and no matter how many times I try to recreate her sauce, mine is not quite the same. At any rate as much as I love this Italian American classic, I crave a good ragu or bolognese.

I’ve been thinking about trying this pork shoulder ragu for some time after seeing it on Food 52. I have a thing for pork and am happy any time I can throw a pot in the oven and  let it simmer away for a few hours.

The only change I made to the recipe was to add a little more tomatoes-probably another half a can. Make sure to buy a box of Italian made noodles, invite a few friends over and wow them with this meaty ragu.


Pork Shoulder Ragu

2-pounds to 2 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (up to 2 1/2 pounds), tied with twine if there are any loose pieces

small onion, chopped

garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper

tablespoons olive oil

small pat butter

1-28-ounce can Muir Glen whole tomatoes, with juice

cup red wine

sprigs fresh thyme

sprigs fresh oregano

1 small handful of fennel seeds

tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (Sriracha or Tabasco or Trader Joe’s Chili Sauce)

pound Pappardelle

handful Freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 325° F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes in all.

Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3 to 4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.)

Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board (remove the sprigs of herbs at the same time) and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir.

Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions. When it’s is ready, put into individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of Parm. Alternately, toss the pasta with the ragu and a bit of pasta cooking water, as needed, and top with Parm.

2 thoughts on “Pork Shoulder Ragu

  1. Looks delicious! I had a similar dish here in New Orleans and loved it.

  2. This recipe very much reminds me of the Sunday Gravy I grew up with, one difference is that the pork shoulder was browned stovetop and simmered for hours in the sauce. I think I will give this method a try!

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