Braised Pork Ragu with Pappardelle

Last week I stumbled across this beyond awesome (and super simple) recipe thanks to a friend’s Facebook post.  It was so good, I thought I needed to share it here as well.

This was beyond simple to make in the crockpot (I think I did about 2.5 hours on high and about 2 hours on low – it was done when it was fall apart tender).  It made enough that we had leftovers for sandwiches AND froze some to enjoy later.

I was able to pick up all of the ingredients during my standard, Wednesday Henry’s Market and fresh veggies run (well, all except the pappardelle – so I subbed in rigatoni).  I didn’t feel like buying fresh herbs and didn’t have any in the garden (yet!) so I just used dried herbs instead.  I also think that a little tomato paste might be a flavorful addition.

A key thing to keep in mind here…use a wine that you enjoy drinking.  We were running a little low on un-corked red wines (don’t ask) so I just used the first red that hadn’t gone bad (took me three bottles to find one).  I think if I had used a more full-bodied red, it would have tasted that much better.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Bon Appetit!!

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice
1 cup red wine
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh oregano
Small handful of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (I used Chalupa since that’s what I had on hand – didn’t do much for me)
Pappardelle (or rigatoni)
Freshly grated Parmesean

Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. 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. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, 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. 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.

When you decide to make this, let me know what you think.  And of course, be sure to let the folks at Dinner: A Love Story know as well.

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