Pork Ragu

I think I need to confess something. I am a notoriously picky eater. For a long time I was in denial about my pickyness. But it’s true, I am picky. There are many foods that most people consider to be normal but I just will not eat. Some foods I just have in my head that I do not like. Just the thought of eating lettuce is anxiety inducing to me. I have this fear that people are going to try to trick me, and sneak these “scary” foods into my meal. Maybe that is why I like to cook. I always know exactly what is going into my food. I have gotten a little bit better recently. I have even begun to eat onions. Believe me, this is a major accomplishment for me!


Cliff and I were at the library awhile back and we picked up The Southern Italian Table by Arthur Schwartz from the cookbook section. Cliff wanted to make Pork Ragù. At first I was very skeptical. For one, I don’t like meat in my sauce. And two, it called for onions; an entire onion. I renewed the book twice before I attempted to make Cliff his Pork Ragù. What a mistake! It is our new favorite sauce. The pork sauce reminds me of the sauce my Grandma used to make. I served the pork right with the sauce in place of meatballs and sausage. Cliff said he prefers the pieces of pork to both meatballs and sausage. Coming from him that is very high praise.


Here’s what you’ll need

Dry the pork


Add the olive to the dutch oven

Sprinkle with salt

Add the meat to the pot

Add the onions and brown

Add the red wine

In a separate bowl, blend the tomatoes

Add the tomatoes to the dutch oven

Add bay leaves, salt, and red pepper flakes

Simmer for 2 1/2 hours; stirring often

Better than Grandma’s?


Pork Ragu

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 lb pork shoulder cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3-28 oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes, whole and peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


  • Cut the meat into 3 inch pieces. Discard most but not all of the fat. Dry the meat with a paper towel. My pork shoulder only had a small bone so I threw it away. Season the meat with salt. Heat the oil in a 4-5 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meat and onion to the pot. Lightly brown the meat on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook until the wine has mostly evaporated. Using an immersion blender, blend the tomatoes before adding them to the pot. If you like your sauce a little chunky you could crush the tomatoes with your hands. Season with salt, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer, uncovered,for 2 ½ hours, stirring often. I like to serve with taglioni pasta but mostaccoli would work too.
Keyword pork, ragu