Braised Pork Ragu

pork shoulder slowly braised in a rich, herby tomato sauce, served over pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese over top

servings: 4


  • 1 (2 lb) bone-in pork shoulder
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled + diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small handful of fresh thyme, sage, and oregano (tied in kitchen twine)
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¾ lb dried fettuccine (or use the homemade pasta recipe below)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Let the pork shoulder sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Season generously with salt on all sides. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. Sear the pork for 2-3 minutes per side, or until a golden crust forms. Transfer the pork out of the pot.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. To the pan drippings, add the onion, shallot, and carrots. Season with salt. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste. Deglaze the pot with the red wine. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all of the flavors. Let simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, bundle of herbs, and another pinch of salt.
  4. Add the pork shoulder back to the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer, reduce the heat all the way low, and cover the pot. Cook for 1 ½ hours. Flip the pork shoulder over and cover the pot again, this time leaving the lid slightly cracked to allow some steam to escape. Cook for another 1 ½ hours.
  5. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Raise the heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Use two forks to shred the pork and discard the bone.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water – approximately 3 minutes for fresh (recipe below) or 1 minute less than the package’s instructions for dried.
  7. Return the shredded pork to the sauce. Stir well and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir to coat.
  8. Use tongs to transfer the pasta to a serving platter. Spoon extra sauce & meat over top. Garnish with lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese, more black pepper, and any extra oregano leaves.