pork shoulder ragù

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I’ve been eating more meat recently.  I never avoided it in the past, I simply didn’t actively pursue it.  But, as my iron level remains low enough to require IV iron infusions, I figured I should start working on getting more into my diet the old-fashioned way.  Cooking in cast iron, using molasses to top oatmeal, eating plenty of spinach, snaking on almonds, etc.  A good way to incorporate the meat portion into my diet was to make a big batch of something over the weekend, using the slow cooker (or dutch oven).  We’ve tried Asian Short Ribs (from this book, yum), Steak Tacos (love) and this Pork Shoulder Ragù.  Each of these meals has been something different, that I wouldn’t normally make (I’m a veggie girl, ya know), but they’ve been so welcomed, filling and deliciously appropriate for a shared meal to just sit and enjoy.

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It makes a big batch, so I’ve put away the leftovers in the freezer for those days when I don’t get home to make dinner and I am in serious need of something deliciously filling.

Pork Shoulder Ragù
yield: 6-8 servings

recipe notes: This Pork Shoulder Ragù is easy to make (although it takes awhile, it requires very little hands-on time), has a lovely, simmered tomato-red wine + fennel seed flavor and is great for reheating.  You can serve it sloppy joe style in between buns, wrapped up in a corn tortilla, over pasta – or, my favorite way, over steamed brown rice.

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large (28 oz) 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
Pasta/Rice/Buns/Tortillas (gluten-free)
Freshly grated Parmesan

1.  Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove excess fat from the pork shoulder.  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.

2.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. 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.) The 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 or rice according to package directions.  Or, heat up some corn tortillas or toast some hamburger buns.  Top whatever you’ve cooked or toasted with the ragu and plenty of parmesan.

source:  Dinner A Love Story







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