Chunky Pork Shoulder Ragu Recipe

by - 10:49 AM

Chunky Pork Shoulder Ragu Recipe
Chunky Pork Shoulder Ragu Recipe

Buongiorno miei amata amici! 

This recipe is from the book The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone, which I have previously reviewed. With permission of the author, I will now share one of the wonderful recipes from the book and at the very end, I will share what I did differently out of necessity*.

Chunky Pork Shoulder Ragu Recipe**

(The pork shoulder roast practically melts into this flavorful sauce. A hearty pasta like rigatoni is the perfect choice, and the ragu is also good on polenta.)



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, rolled and tied
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • Salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil


Browned Pork Roast in Crock Pot
Browned Pork Roast in Crock Pot
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and brown it on all sides. Remove the meat to a large slow cooker. 

Spices for Pork Ragu Recipe
Spices for Pork Ragu Recipe
  Add the onion and fennel seeds to the skillet and cook until the onion is tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sage, and rosemary. 

Pork Roast and Ingredients for Pork Ragu Recipe in the Slow Cooker
Pork Roast and Ingredients for Pork Ragu Recipe
in the Slow Cooker
Add the tomato puree, tomatoes, and a pinch of salt and stir well. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker. Add the crushed red pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until the pork is very tender.  

Slicing the Pork Roast for Pork Ragu after removing from Crock Pot - Slow Cooker
Slicing the Pork Roast for Pork Ragu
after removing from Crock Pot - Slow Cooker
Remove the meat to a cutting board but leave the sauce in the slow cooker with the heat on. With two forks, tear the pork into bite-size pieces. Return the pork to the cooker to reheat. Stir in the basil. 

 *  What I did differently: We are on a tight budget, so I bought the cheapest cut of pork shoulder roast I could find and it did have a small bone in it. It was about 4 lbs and I did NOT tie it before browning it and adding it to my olive-oil sprayed crock-pot. I crushed my fennel seeds in a mortar first, but you can also crush them by folding a towel over them and using your rolling pin to smash them. I did not use the puree, instead I used two cans of whole tomatoes (grown in America), but were roma/plum type. I did not cut the tomatoes first, as I like to break them apart AFTER they cook. This still came out DELICIOUS.  I will definitely make this again! 

**  Recipe from THE ITALIAN SLOW COOKER by Michele Scicolone.  Copyright (c) 2010 by Michele Scicolone. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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18 intriguing comments

  1. This looks so good. I will be making it this weekend!

  2. Oh my, just reading the title of this recipe reminded me of the sauce my nana made. Can't wait to try this one out. Thanks!

    dmarie824 at aol dot com

  3. It doesn't matter if Michele would approve of the olive oil spray. Most things that makes your life easier are good things.

  4. Wow, looks delicious! Perfect time to bring out the slow cooker~

  5. I'm so glad I found your blog! I love cooking and I'm always looking for good recipes I can try out and these look so good. Can't wait to try out some new recipes.

  6. This definitely looks good. Since this also becomes an entry into your February Amazon giveaway, just want to make a point-you mention being able to make a post on anything you have written this year up to now, but I didn't find comment possibilities on several of them that would have been nice to comment on. I may have just missed the icons, but if there really are none, you might want to increase the possibilities for people to make notations.

    cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

  7. using newmans own looking forward to it this evening smells wafting thru the house right now are amazing.

  8. Yum! Thanks so much for the recipe! I have a pork roast that I wasn't sure what to do with.

    gina.m.maddox AT gmail DOT com

  9. Oh my this looks amazing! Yum.
    My fiance will love it if I make this for him.

  10. I stumbled onto your blog today and found this yummy recipe. The book sounded familiar and sure enough, I have it checked out from the library right now! EVERYTHING in the book looks delicious! Thanks for posting and listing the changes you made. I find it hard to keep exactly to the recipe too.

  11. This looks great, I love Italian food and I'm always looking for new recipes

  12. ooh this looks delicious! And in a crock pot too - great for a busy day!
    I''m sitting here wondering if you always pre-measure all your ingredients before you start or if you only do it when you are posting a recipe and pictures!

  13. This sounds and looks delicious!

    braaisjo at gmail dot com

  14. This looks really good! I've never made pork shoulder before but it looks delicious!! I'll have to try this. I never see pork shoulder at the grocery store though...I'll have to search a bit.


  15. We do a lot of slow cooker cooking around here. This looks like a recipe my husband would love -- and I'd be his hero for making it! Thanks for posting and I'm going to print it out.

  16. Looking at the picture of the finished product made my mouth water. I know what I'm going to try to make for dinner tomorrow night!

  17. This looks really good - I may just try it out if I have thetime! sharmilasil at hotmail dot com

  18. My goodness does this recipe look heavenly!


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