This Rich and Tender Pulled Pork Ragu with pasta is juicy, fall-apart, slow-cooked pork, coated in hearty flavours of tomato, garlic, red wine and herbs.  Get it going in the morning and you’ll be coming home to a house that smells divine, and a pasta dish you can have on the table in 10 minutes.

slow cooked pork ragu on top of tagliatelle in a white bowl with garlic bread
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Soft, fall-apart pork that’s been slow cooking for most of the day in a rich sauce of tomatoes, garlic, red peppers and herbs.

This slow-cooked pork ragu with Pasta is so lip-smackingly good!

This recipe makes enough for 6-8 people, and it freezes well. So it’s a great recipe to eat half and then freeze the other half for a quick dinner another time.

What do we need?

Ingredients for slow cooked pork ragu on a wooden table
  • Pork – I use pork shoulder steaks that I chop into large pieces. The shoulder pieces have small amounts of fat running through them, which break down during the long, slow cooking process, leaving you with tender, juicy meat and a silky, rich sauce.
  • Tinned tomatoes – I like to use finely chopped tinned tomatoes because I started buying them recently and I love them! But you can use regular tinned tomatoes or even passata if you prefer.
  • Red wine – any red wine will do, or you can leave it out entirely if you prefer not to use alcohol in cooking.

How to make the Pork Ragu

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper, then brown in a pan (or slow cooker if it has a searing function) in a little butter and oil.
  2. Turn the heat down and add chopped onion. Cook until softened, then add red pepper and garlic, followed by red wine.
  3. Next in goes tomato puree, sugar, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and stock. Stir, bring to the boil (transfer to slow cooker now if you’ve been using a pan).
  4. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  5. Discard the bay leaves and shred the meat. Add in a little more salt and pepper if needed and serve.
8 image collage showing how to make slow cooked pork ragu

What to serve it with

I served mine over tagliatelle, topped with fresh parmesan and parsley, alongside some homemade garlic bread.

slow cooked pork ragu on top of pasta in a white bowl. Further bowl plus garlic bread in the background.

Ingredient swaps

  • Replace the pork with beef or lamb for a change
  • Add in chopped fresh chillies or a good pinch of cayenne for a spicy kick
  • Add in mushrooms or some halved baby tomatoes if you’d like more veggies.

How to scale down this recipe

This recipe freezes well, so it’s great if you want to cook it and freeze a few batches.
However, if you’d prefer to cook less, you can halve all of the amounts EXCEPT the stock and it will cook in the same way. You need a little more liquid if you’re making less.

Overhead shot of slow cooked pork ragu with pasta in a white bowl with a slice of garlic bread

More fantastic Italian-inspired recipes

Watch how to make it

YouTube video

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5 from 4 votes

Slow Cooked Pork Ragu Recipe

Juicy, fall-apart, slow-cooked pork, coated in hearty flavours of tomato, garlic and herbs.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) pork shoulder steaks chopped into large chunks
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper deseeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) red wine
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree paste for US, usually gluten-free, but check if required
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 x 400 g (2 x 14 oz) tins finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Serve:

  • cooked pasta
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley
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  • Heat the butter and oil in a large pan (or in your slow cooker bowl if it has a searing function) until the butter melts.
    1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sprinkle the pork with the salt and pepper and then place in the pan. Seal the meat on all sides (should take 7-10 mins).
    1 kg (2.2 lbs) pork shoulder steaks, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Turn the heat down and add the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes – stirring a couple of times – until the onion starts to soften.
    1 large onion
  • Add in the red pepper and garlic, stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.
    1 red bell pepper, 3 cloves garlic
  • Add in the red wine and let it bubble down for a couple of minutes.
    60 ml (4 tbsp) red wine
  • Add in the tomato puree, sugar, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and stock. Stir, and then bring everything to a gentle simmer.
    3 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 2 x 400 g (2 x 14 oz) tins finely chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce, 120 ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
  • If you've been cooking it in the pan until this stage, now is the time to pour everything into the slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  • After this time, discard the bay leaves and shred the meat with two forks or a potato masher. It should be very tender. Test for seasoning and add in more salt and pepper if needed.
    salt and pepper
  • Serve the pork on top of cooked pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
    cooked pasta, grated parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley


YouTube video


Can I make it ahead?
Yes, we think it tastes even better when made ahead and reheated – as it allows the flavours to develop even further. Once cooked, cool quickly, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat in a pan or the microwave until piping hot throughout.
Can I freeze it?
Yes. Once cooked, cool, then split into portions if necessary, cover and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a pan or the microwave until piping hot throughout.
Nutritional Information is per serving of Pork ragu, WITHOUT pasta or parmesan.


Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 544mg | Potassium: 871mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1007IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This recipe was first published in April 2015. Updated in September 2020 with new photos, video, tips and a few little tweaks to the recipe.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Jasmin says:

    5 stars

    i want to make this recipe but i dont have a slow cooker. How long does this dish have to stew in the oven?

    thank you 🙂

  2. Sophie Fisher says:

    Made this twice now – I like to add two teaspoons smoked paprika and serve with homemade tagliatelle hmmm delicious!

  3. Patricia Ward says:

    5 stars
    Let me start by saying I already had leftover pulled pork from a get together that we had. My husband had slow cooked the pork shoulders on the bbq grill so my pork had a bit of a smoky flavor to start. So I used one pound instead of the pork shoulder called for. I also didn’t have any red wine so I added a bit more stock. I think the wine would have been a bonus. Since my pork had already been slow cooked I didn’t use a crock pot and cooked the ragu on the stovetop. It was delicious served over wide egg noodles. I would like to try this recipe again and make it as instructed. I’m sure it could only be better!

    1. Chris Corbishley says:

      Thanks Patricia,

      Part of the fun of cooking is adapting recipes to suit what you have in or what you can get hold of and still manage to make a delicious meal and I love the idea of using smoked pulled pork.



  4. Annie says:

    5 stars
    Once again, clean plates on the table. Great recipe – thank you!

  5. Katy says:

    5 stars
    Put this in the slow cooker yesterday before work, came home to wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen. Delicious dinner then ready in less than 30 mins. Definitely making this again.