Pork Ragu Recipe

Pork Ragu

The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
506 Calories
29g Fat
23g Carbs
32g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 506
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 123mg 41%
Sodium 196mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 16mg 82%
Calcium 82mg 6%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 763mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

What better way to greet the weekend than with a slow-braised, comforting meal like pork ragu? After making a relaxing meal on Saturday or Sunday, you can enjoy delicious leftovers during busy weeknights.

Pork ragu has humble roots in a relatively inexpensive cut of meat: pork shoulder, also called picnic roast or picnic shoulder. These tougher cuts require a long, slow braise to tenderize. 

The ragu starts by searing the pork, then sautéing aromatics, the Italian culinary holy trinity of onions, celery, and carrots, along with some garlic. Red wine is used to deglaze the pot—be sure to scrape up all those caramelized bits from the meat and vegetables for maximum flavor.

Once the tomatoes and herbs have been added, the real work is done and it’s all about patience. A slow braise in the oven rewards you with a roast that easily shreds with a fork, reminiscent of BBQ pulled pork, but with an Italian twist.


  • 2 pounds pork shoulder

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, diced

  • 1 stalk celery, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 pound pappardelle, cooked according to package directions

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325 F with a rack positioned in the center. Season pork all over with salt and pepper.

    Season the meat for pork ragu
    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning a few times, until browned all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large platter (it will not be cooked through).

    brown the meat for pork ragu
    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 
  4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until fragrant and the onions are slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and add the wine; bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, use scissors to cut the tomatoes in the can until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes with their juices, thyme, and rosemary to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    add tomatoes and herbs to pork ragu
    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 
  6. Add the pork and any juices collected on the plate back to the pan. Cover and bake on the center oven rack until pork is tender enough to pull apart with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

    braise pork ragu
    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 
  7. Remove the rosemary sprig and discard. Use two forks to shred the pork, then stir the pork back into the sauce to combine.

    shred meat for pork ragu
    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 
  8. Serve over hot pappardelle pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

    pork ragu
    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 

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