There’s nothing yummier than a thick, hearty and meaty ragout on a cold night, and seeing as cold nights are so rare in Austin, I just had to make this dish when we had a run of a few near-freezing nights.
The charm with this dish is that it can all be done in one pot and it cooks low and slow in the oven, filling the kitchen with delightful aromas. And because I’m an over-achiever, I served my ragout with home-made pasta, but any hearty dried pasta will work too (think rigatoni, penne or wide noodles).
Give it a go, and let me know how it turns out!
- 4-6 pounds pork shoulder or sliced pork country ribs
- oil for searing
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup red wine (choose a robust wine without too much sweetness like merlot, burgundy, etc)
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (save the juice for your next batch of spaghetti sauce)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- chopped parsley for garnish
- shaved Parmesan for garnish
- Wash and dry the pork. Country ribs have tons of little bone shards – run each under warm water and run your hands over the pork to dislodge any bone shards.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Sear the pork in some oil in a pan with a heavy bottom that is also oven-safe and has a fitted lid.* Bring the oil to a high temperature (nearly smoking) before adding the pork, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes in the hot oil until dark brown (but not burned) on the bottom. Flip it over, and sear on all sides.
- Turn the heat off the pan and remove all the pork. Set the pork aside for now.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the veggies, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Add a wee bit more oil if sticking, and cook until the veggies are soft and onions are translucent (about 5-8 minutes).
- Turn the heat to medium, and deglaze the pan with 1 cup of red wine, scraping the bits (aka fond) stuck to the bottom. Let simmer until the wine is mostly gone.
- Return the pork to the pot. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes, cover and bring to a simmer.
- Put the lid on the pot, and put it in the oven at 300-F and let it simmer for about 2.5 hours. If using a whole pork shoulder, you may need to let it simmer longer. You want it to be fork and fall-off-the-bone tender.
- Once tender, remove the pork from the liquid and set aside to cool. When you can easily handle the pork, use your hands to shred the pork and remove it from the bone. Set aside any fatty bits; you won’t need those.
- Remove the pork to the pot and add the remaining 2 Tbsp of wine. Bring the heat to a low simmer, season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan. Buon appetito!*If you don’t have an oven-safe pot, you can transfer the seared pork, veggies and liquid to a casserole dish with a fitted lid, and bake it in the oven.