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Spicy Pork Ragu

Pork Ragu

If you're looking for some comfort food, this Spicy Pork Ragu will hit the spot.

The meat cooks low and slow, it is filled with flavor and in the end there is a lot of food. And did I mention it's served over pasta? This fed the two of us for 3 dinners and we were still able to stow some away in the freezer for a rainy day. And let me tell you, I CANNOT wait for the rainy day we pull some ragu out of the freezer.

If you have the time to be at home to cook the meat for several hours, this would be excellent for company. That is, if you like your friends, and want them to come back for dinner again, because after this meal....they will be back! Don't hesitate to cook it the day before either, as it only gets better as it basks in its own flavors overnight.

This recipe is adapted from a handful I found, but it mostly inspired from recipes over at Food 52 and Dinner and a Love Story.

3 to 4 pound boneless pork butt
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 teaspoons salt, divided
3 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Franks)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teasoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 pound of pasta, fettucini or parpadelle are recommened
shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rub pork shoulder with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Place in roasting pan and cook in preheated oven to brown for 25 minutes.

With about 10 minutes remaining on pork, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in large dutch oven. Add onion, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes.

Remove pork from oven and reduce heat on oven to 325 degrees.

Place pork in dutch oven. Add tomatoes, wine, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, oregano and basil to dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover and place in the oven.

Cook in the oven for 3 hours, turning pork over about every hour.

Remove from oven and place on stove, simmer over medium low to medium heat for about 1 hour. Cook wit lid off if you would like to reduce the liquid (which is what I did and recommend), but if you feel that the liquid does not need to be reduced cook over medium low with dutch oven covered. 

With about half hour left of cooking, use potato masher to shred the pork in the dutch oven. If you do not have potato masher, shred with forks. This is also a great time to taste if you need additional seasoning or spice.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Serve ragu over pasta with shredded parmesan cheese. 

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