| | | | | | |

The BEST Pork Ragu

You haven’t had true comfort food until you’ve tried Pork Ragu, a luxurious Italian sauce made with rich tomato and tender braised pork shoulder. Or switch it up by making the classic dish with beef, lamb, or duck – There’s no wrong choice!

Serve this traditional meal on pappardelle noodles or creamy polenta for an experience that will transport your taste buds to Italy; You won’t even need to break out your passport!

If you feel like being extra adventurous, try making some Pappardelle Pasta from scratch – Trust us when we say it’s worth the effort! With one bite of this comforting dinner favorite, everyone in the whole family is sure to love it.

Italian pork ragu recipe with polenta

What You’ll Need To Make Pork Ragu

  • Pork shoulder. 4 lbs of bone-in pork shoulder.
  • Fresh herbs. Fresh thyme and rosemary.
  • Vegetables. Onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. You can use whole tomatoes or crushed tomatoes.
  • Wine. Full-bodied Italian red wine
  • Broth. Chicken of vegetable broth.
  • Olive oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

What is A Ragu Meat?

You can use a bone-in or a boneless pork shoulder. I highly recommend opting for a bone-in pork roast.

The flavor you get from a bone-in shoulder roast is nothing short of extraordinary. That’s because traditional slow cooking helps to break down the connective tissues on and around the bones, releasing complex proteins that add loads of depth for an intensively rich taste. So when it comes time to craft your next masterpiece—go with something extra special: Bone in!

What Kind Of Wine To Use

The braising liquid is made from red wine and broth. A dry Italian Red is the best wine for this pork ragu recipe.

Instructions For Pork Ragu Sauce

  1. Cut the pork shoulder into 3-4 large pieces. Trim excess fat and season pork with salt and pepper. (Be generous with the salt and pepper)
  2. Add the oil to a large dutch oven. Heat to medium-high heat. Brown the pieces of pork until all sides are well browned.
  3. Remove the browned pork from the dutch oven and place it on a plate to rest. Remove the majority of excess fat from the pan. 
  4. Reduce the temperature to medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and caramelize. If there are a lot of brown bits, you can add a few tablespoons of water to loosen up the flavor bits. 
  5. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until lightly browned. 
  6. Add the tomato paste to the pot and brown the tomato paste for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the wine to deglaze that pan. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot and dissolve all of the brown bits into the sauce.
  8. Add the tomatoes to the pan. If you are using whole plum tomatoes, crush them with your hands as you add them to the pan. 
  9. Add the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate to the pan 
  10. Add the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.
  11. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce it to a medium-low simmer.

Two Ways To Cook Braised Pork Ragu

  1. Simmer with the lid ajar until the liquid has been reduced and the meat falls off the bone. 
  2. Cook in the oven at 350℉ for 3 to 4 hours.

Finishing The Sauce

  1. Before serving, remove thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and set it aside on a cutting board. After it cools slightly, use a fork to shred the meat. Remove the bone and return the meat to the sauce.
pork ragu with cheesy polenta

What You Need To Make Polenta

  • Salted water.
  • Coarse polenta.
  • Unsalted butter.
  • Parmesan cheese.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Black pepper.
  • Chopped parsley and a little olive oil, for topping.

How To Make Polenta

  1. Bring 6 cups of salted water to a rapid boil.
  2. Add the polenta to water while whisking continuously. 
  3. Reduce the temperature to a medium-low simmer. Whisk occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add the butter and cheese, and whisk in to incorporate. 
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. 

How To Serve Pork Ragu

This classic Italian sauce is traditionally served with pappardelle pasta or polenta. This delicious sauce is great with your favorite pasta. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Serve with freshly baked garlic bread and a fresh green salad.

serve pork ragu with creamy polenta and a dry italian red wine.

FAQs

What’s the difference between a ragù and a Bolognese?

Ragu and Bolognese are similar but not the same. Ragu is a hearty meat sauce made with braised meat. Bolognese is a rich meat sauce made in the style of bologna. Bolognese sauce is much creamier as one of the main ingredients is milk.

Check out my Bolognese Recipe to see the details.

Can I make pork ragu ahead of time?

Yes, definitely. Pork Ragu can be made in advance.

How to store leftovers?

Store leftover Pork Ragu in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for months.

Reheat to 165℉ before serving.

More Dinner Recipes

We have plenty of crowd-pleasing dinner recipes like Guinness Braised Short Ribs, Grilled Steak, Bolognese, or Shrimp Enchiladas.

What To Serve With Pork Ragu

Nothing is better with Pork Ragu than garlic bread. This French Bread recipe is easier than you think.

Try your hand at a batch of homemade pasta.

For something light, serve this dinner with Crostini topped with Bruschetta or a crisp Caesar Salad.

Did you make this recipe? I love to see what’s going on in your kitchen. Show me what you’re cooking. 🍳 Tag me @foodologygeek on your favorite social channel! Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. If you loved ❤︎ this recipe, please leave a five ★ review and a comment!

Italian Meat Ragu Sauce

The BEST Pork Ragu Recipe

Laura Reigel
You haven't had true comfort food until you've tried Pork Ragu, a luxurious Italian sauce made with rich tomato and tender braised pork shoulder. Or switch it up by making the classic dish with beef, lamb, or duck – There's no wrong choice!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 596 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Ragu

  • 4 lbs bone in pork shoulder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup full-bodied italian red wine
  • 2 cups broth, chicken of vegetable
  • 1 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves

Polenta

  • 6 cups salted water
  • 1 ½ cups coarse polenta
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt, if needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For Topping

  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • olive oil for drizzling

Instructions
 

Ragu

  • Cut the pork shoulder into 3-4 large pieces. Trim excess fat and season well with salt and pepper. (Be generous with the salt and pepper)
    4 lbs bone in pork shoulder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the oil to a large enameled dutch oven. Heat to medium-high heat. Caramelize the pork shoulder until all sides are well browned.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Remove the browned meat from dutch oven and place on a plate to rest. Remove the majority of excess fat from the pan. 
  • Add onions to the pan and caramelize. If there are a lot of brown bits you can add a few tbsp of water to loosen up the flavor bits. 
    1 large onion
  • Add the garlic and cook for several minutes until lightly browned. 
    6 cloves garlic
  • Add the tomato paste and brown slightly.
    2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Add the wine to deglaze that pan. 
    1 cup full-bodied italian red wine
  • Add the tomatoes to pan, crush with hands as you add them to the pan. 
    1 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes
  • Add the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate to the pan 
  • Add the broth, if needed.
    2 cups broth
  • Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.
    4 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary, 2 bay leaves
  • Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a medium-low simmer. Simmer with lid ajar until liquid has been reduced and the meat is falling off the bone. 
  • Before serving, remove thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.

Polenta

  • Bring 6 cups of salted water to a rapid boil.
    6 cups salted water
  • Add the polenta to water while whisking continuously. 
    1 ½ cups coarse polenta
  • Reduce the temperature to a medium-low simmer. Whisk occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add the butter and cheese, whisk in to incorporate. 
    ¼ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste. 
    ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the finely chopped parsley. 
    ½ cup parsley
  • Serve and top with the pork ragu and serve with a delicious Italian wine.
    olive oil for drizzling

Laura’s Tips + Notes

This Pork Ragu with Polenta is a rich, warm, saucy bowl of heaven. Fall is in the air, and as the air turns crisp, it is time to serve up warm, comforting dishes. What could be better than a cheesy polenta covered in a magnificent meaty ragu?
This recipe is easy to put together, and as it cooks, it makes the house smell amazing. As a bonus, the leftovers are magnificent. 
 

YOUR OWN NOTES

Nutrition

Calories: 596kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 43gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 334mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gCalcium: 157mgIron: 3.4mg
Keyword italian, pasta sauce, Pork Ragu
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Snap a 📸 and share it. Tag me @foodologygeek and don’t forget to hashtag #foodologygeek!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Review this recipe!




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.