This recipe for Pork Ragu is the perfect way to use leftover pork shoulder or Boston Butt as some folks call it. I always have leftovers and needed to come up with something different for the pork. This was delicious! This is not so much a recipe as it is a starting point to make a ragu that is totally your own. Choose the spices and additions you like and I’m sure it will be wonderful!
WHAT IS A RAGU?
Ragu is an Italian term that means a sauce typically made with ground meat, onions, tomato paste, red wine, and served with a pasta. In the US, we typically think of something we call a spaghetti sauce, but you can see by the definition that it can be made with other ingredients.
The secret to a good ragu is in layering flavors. Well, that’s actually the secret to any dish you are making. The pork should be properly seasoned as you cook it, so you have a good foundation for any other recipe you make from the leftovers. For this pork, I seasoned with generous amounts of salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic. My tendency is to under season, so it’s been a learning experience for me. Don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with your own perfect flavors.
HOW TO MAKE PORK RAGU
I began this pork ragu by sauteing onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. This will take 5-7 minutes over low heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Once you have achieved this, add the white wine and continue to cook until the wine is reduced by 2/3. You don’t want the alcohol taste in the ragu, but you do want the lingering tastes of the wine.
Once the vegetables are prepared and the wine is reduced, add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring this mixture to a slow boil and add the leftover pork. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes until all the flavors are melded together.
At this point, I added 1 cup of frozen lima beans because my sauce was a little too salty. Salt is one seasoning I do not have a problem with. I am a salt-a-holic. This is totally optional, but it worked beautifully. It also added a vegetable to the meal and that is never a bad thing.
I served this pork ragu over spaghetti squash because our son-in-law was here, and he is on a low carb diet. This could be served over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes. I think it would also be good served over toasted sourdough bread. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, serve with a salad, and crusty bread, and you have a delicious meal that everyone will love.
- 6 cups Pork shoulder, cooked and chopped leftovers are great for this
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup bell peppers, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons sage I used fresh but dried would work also
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- Tabasco sauce, to taste
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, sauté the onions, peppers, and celery, until tender and translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook about one minute.
- Stir in the wine and continue to cook until the wine is reduced by 2/3.
- Add the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Check your seasonings and adjust to your taste preferences.
- Serve over spaghetti squash, pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes.