Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach's Pork Shoulder Ragu Recipe on Food52 (2024)

One-Pot Wonders

by: Genius Recipes



66 Ratings

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 4 hours 19 minutes
  • Serves 6

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Author Notes

On their blog Dinner: A Love Story, Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach call this "Instant Dinner Party," because you can make the ragu completely ahead, even a day or two before. Whether you serve it that day or reheat it for a party tomorrow, "It will make the house smell amazing," Jenny told me, "Which, in my opinion, counts for more than flower arrangements when having dinner guests. Best of all, if there are kids coming over, and they don't like the ragu, we can usually count on them liking the pasta with a little Parm—so it minimizes drama on that end, too." Whatever ragu is left is a boon: over polenta, in tacos, on sandwiches, or frozen and awaiting more dinners. Recipe adapted slightly from Dinner: A Love Story (Ecco, 2012). —Genius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, 14 Cozy, Tomatoey Braises to Warm Your Stove Now Through March, sponsored by Muir Glen. —The Editors

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 2 poundsto 2 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (up to 2 1/2 pounds), tied with twine if there are any loose pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoonsolive oil
  • 1 small pat butter
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cupred wine
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 Small handful of fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoonhot sauce, for smokiness (Andy used Trader Joe's Hot Chili Sauce, but Sriracha and Tabasco both work great, too)
  • 1 poundPappardelle
  • 1 handfulFreshly grated Parmesan
  1. 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 to 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.
  3. Braise for 3 to 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 (remove the sprigs of herbs at the same time) and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir.
  4. 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. Alternately, toss the pasta with the ragu and a bit of pasta cooking water, as needed, and top with Parm.


  • Pasta
  • Italian
  • Fennel
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Pork
  • Serves a Crowd
  • One-Pot Wonders
  • Father's Day
  • Fall
  • Mother's Day
  • Christmas

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kristen Scott

  • dale.mcneill

  • Anusha Rutnam

  • Jim

  • Joe

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

149 Reviews

Ro R. February 12, 2024

This recipe was a rare, complete disappointment from this site. I should have read more of the comments where others just consistently completely rewrote it. All proportions are completely off.

maureen February 9, 2024

I tried this recipe a few years ago during Covid lock downs. It turned out to be one of my, and my family's all time favorites! So easy and so delicious!!

Jacque November 20, 2023

My pork roast was 1.82 lbs and I used two 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes (1 crushed & 1 fire roasted diced) and I was not left with dry shredded meat, but it also wasn't excessively saucy. Ate the first meal over pappardelle and topped with parmesan, which was a pleasant combination, but I think I enjoyed it more on day two as a sandwich (pretzel bun, light smear of mayonnaise, a layer of Smitten Kitchen's Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles and some BBQ kettle chips on the side). Was easy to make with mostly pantry staples and very little hands on time, and I thought the resulting flavor was good - would definitely make again.

Kristen S. October 22, 2023

Amazing flavor! And soooo easy! Just delicious as written. I think it will also be good over polenta too…

jodyrah September 10, 2023

1 head ( yes, head not clove) garlic minced. This is a long cook and will mellow considerably. It will not be pervasive. The sauce will just taste better.
I onion minced
1 small carrot, minced
2 28oz cans DOP San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
1 small can tomato paste
1-1.5 C dry red wine
Season the pork all over with salt/pepper, then brown in olive oil, remove from pot
Add more oil to the pan if it seems dry
Saute: onions, carrot, 1/2 the garlic, 1-2 ancho chilis, till softens
Add: tomato paste, cook till it deepens in color
Add: wine, stir 1-2 min
Add: tomatoes and rest of garlic. Put fresh herbs, fennel ( certainly NOT a small handful ,if using), in cheesecloth
Proceed with recipe, keep pot covered. Turn the meat after 1.5 hours
Once the meat is done, remove, shred.
Skim the grease from the sauce, remove spices and chilis, adjust seasoning. Immersion blend if you want a smoother sauce. Stir 1T butter into sauce before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and reggiano.
This is much more flavorful made a day ahead.
Note: Cipriani pappardelle, while pricey, is worth the splurge.

linda August 2, 2023

First heard about this recipe while listening to a podcast on NPR. My mouth was watering and I am immediately went out for all the ingredients needed. it was a hit, one of the best recipes I've ever made.

James H. August 2, 2023

this isa no brainer of a recipe. ready available ingredients, and not to many of them, no complicated techniques, very straightforward. and there's a huge bang for buck here with the amount of effort and how delicious this really is. I made fresh Pappardelle, and only substituted organic diced tomatoes for the whole tomatoes. it's definitely in the arsenal for feeding a crowd. you could stretch it out to 8 to 10 people easily.

Sarah April 7, 2023

So good. Perfect for a dropped off dinner. My kids love it! Presents beautifully for a dinner party. Delish!

Kelley December 21, 2022

It’s simple, and it’s delicious. Make it!

Nadeen R. November 8, 2022

Wonderful recipe and so easy! I did read all of the comments which are very helpful. I used a 1.5 pound pork shoulder, one 28 oz can of tomatoes and 1.5 cups of wine. I removed the pork after browning, deglazed the dutch oven with the wine before adding the onions and garlic. Turned every hour and halfway through added some cheese rinds from the freezer. After 4 hours, I removed the pork and let it rest then used an immersion blender to get a less chunky sauce. I think because I had a smaller cut of pork I had a perfect ratio of meat to sauce. This was delicious with just some grated parmesan on top. I'll be making this again! Perfect for colder weather.

linda August 24, 2022

made this after listening to the podcast. the taste was beyond expectations!

dale.mcneill May 18, 2022

I followed the recipe pretty closely. As usual when braising meat, I generously salted the pork all over a couple of hours before cooking.

I read a lot of the comments before cooking, which caused me to use 2 cloves of garlic and to double the amount of wine.

I like some crustiness on meat, so I didn’t baste.

This is not exactly like anything I’ve had before, but my friends and I loved it.

Made it two days in advance, in part just for practical reasons and in part to remove some of the fat.

I’ll for sure be making it again!

I made some leeks (just sliced leeks and butter) to serve on the side. One of my friends mixed some in the sauce and was delighted.

I really liked the subtle fennel flavor.

Jo May 16, 2022

Having read the other reviews firs, I kicked up the flavor. I really like the ease of this recipe...most of the work in the oven. I did tie the meat to keep it together. Seasoned and seared it only in olive oil so as not to burn the butter. When browned, I removed the meat to a plate, poured off some of the grease, added the butter and a bit more olive oil with the onions and garlic. I used an med-lg onion, 4 cloves of garlic, about a tsp hot pepper flake for a couple of minutes before adding the wine (used a lovely zin), herbs, tomato, hot sauce, fennel seed and put the meat back in, covered it and put it in the oven. Set a timer and turned the meat every hour. When I took it out to turn it, I skimmed a little of the fat, there was quite a lot. I know this is the "flavor" but I think there was enough to coat the pasta without being overly oily and my cut of meat had plenty of fat. I served the ragu over rigatoni with lots of parm..big hit.

Shauna March 28, 2022

So much potential.. so bland! Season the meat, amp up the spice and increase the cooking liquid and it could be 5 star.

Anusha R. October 1, 2021

This is a pretty niche suggestion, but for the Australians on here, subbing 600g of Kangaroo rump for the pork shoulder is great - only nice roo I've ever made.

I should note that the original recipe is of course, perfect.

JDestefano September 26, 2021

This is really good, and so easy. Made as written except used red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce. There was a lot of fat pooling on the sauce at the end of the cooking time. Next time, I would make a day in advance to facilitate removal of fat. I scooped some of the fat out with a spoon and it was fine. The sauce needed salting, plus I added a splash of colatura for depth and a splash of red wine for verve. Served with dollops of herbed ricotta on top, in addition to grated romano cheese. To stretch the sauce a little further, I might add an additional 14.5 oz can of tomatoes. Divine!

Grace January 12, 2021

Question: Is it too spicy for kids with the hot sauce or more just smoky?

Joe January 12, 2021

No, not at all !

Ashley T. March 21, 2023

I am not very spice tolerant at all and measured the hot sauce (I used Cholula) with my heart and could not even taste it in the finished product. I think it does just add a depth of flavor.

[emailprotected] December 13, 2020

I do the braise in a pressure cooker—one hour, natural release—and it comes out great. Excellent recipe. Only addition: A squirt of anchovy paste from a tube, when the wine goes in to deglaze after the onions and garlic have sauteed.

ann H. June 11, 2020

This is very good and will be on rotation in our house.
I followed the recipe exactly, and next time will incorporate the recommendations that Marissa S. has listed in the comment section.
My husband (Italian) said that the pork was very tender and the sauce was perfectly proportioned with the pasta.
Highly recommended.

Jim March 27, 2020

We've made this recipe at least monthly for 3+ years now. It's our go to favorite recipe (from Food52!). Instead of only Fennel Seeds, we use half Fenugreek Seeds and half Fennel Seeds, as well as double the amount called for of Hot Oil from our local Chinese restaurant. Nothing will make your home smell more welcoming and the meal more mouth watering!

Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach's Pork Shoulder Ragu Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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