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.
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?
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn the heat down and add chopped onion. Cook until softened, then add red pepper and garlic, followed by red wine.
- 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).
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- Discard the bay leaves and shred the meat. Add in a little more salt and pepper if needed and serve.
What to serve it with
- Pasta - I love tagliatelle or pappardelle - (how about homemade pasta), but you can serve with short pasta too.
- Over Jacket Potatoes
- With Creamy Mashed Potatoes , Sauteed Potatoes or even with some Roast Potatoes
- It's not unheard of for me to stuff it into homemade Bao Buns
- And don't forget a side of Homemade Garlic Bread
I served mine over tagliatelle, topped with fresh parmesan and parsley, alongside some homemade garlic bread.
- 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.
More fantastic Italian-inspired recipes
Watch how to make it
Slow Cooked Pork Ragu Recipe
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 kg (2.2lbs) 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 (4tbsp) red wine
- 3 tbsp tomato puree/paste - usually gluten free, but check if required
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 x 400g (14oz) tins finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 120 ml (½ cup) chicken stock
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Cooked pasta
- Grated parmesan cheese
- chopped fresh parsley
- 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.
- 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).
- Turn the heat down and add the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes - stirring a couple of times - until the onion starts to soften.
- Add in the red pepper and garlic, stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add in the red wine and let it bubble down for a couple of minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve the pork on top of cooked pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
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.
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