pork ragu

Anything boasting “instant dinner party” catches attention because it must mean that it’s even easier and special for family meals.  Braised pork ragu over tagliatelle is a hearty meal ideal for cozy eves, yet proves to be a welcome feast for weary weeknights after long work and school days.  It comes together with a few flavor strong ingredients and slow cooking that can withstand delayed mealtimes and imperfect preparation.

Coming from the reliable and delightful Dinner, A Love Story site hosted by Bon Appetit writer and creator of these brilliant cooking tips, Jenny Rosenstrach, my first attempt scored on all fronts with kids and guests.  I’ve tweaked the recipe below, preferring more tomatoes, fennel and hot sauce, because I like a saucier and tangier topping to pasta.  The recipe is forgiving, so alter it to appeal to the tastes at your table.

Braised pork nearly falls apart, but you’ll fork through the roast to create bite size pieces and shreds to coat the pasta.

Make plenty because it’s even better the next day and freezes well for a quick go-to that tastes like you’ve toiled all day.

Next week, I am venturing to New York immersing into the best of the food world – cooking at Per Se (chop faster or we’ll slap you), attending Colbert with dream guest Michael Pollan, and eating at Eleven Madison Park & Mas Farmhouse.  Shut up, my pants are tightening just thinking about the food.  My goal is to interpret all I learn into ways to cook easier and better at home . But the dessert, is time with sweet daughter, looking at apartments for next school year.  How many locks and ovens come with this place?

Braised pork ragu over tagliatelle

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large can + 1 15 oz can whole tomatoes, with juice

1 cup red wine

5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh oregano
1-2 T of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (I used Trader Joe’s Hot Chili Sauce)
Tagliatelle
Freshly grated Parmesean

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. *Slow cooker recipe below.
  2. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast.
  3. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.
  4. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart.
  6. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir. Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions. When it’s is ready, put into individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of Parm.

slow-cooker – After step 4, put ingredients into your slow cooker and heat on med to high, depending on your slow cooker, for 3-4 hours or put on low and heat all day.

do-ahead – make ragu well before guests arrive and just reheat while pasta cooks.  serve with a salad.  Jenny suggests a salad with some sweetness.

recipe adapted from Dinner, A Love Story and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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