Pork Ragu with Polenta |

Pork Ragu with Easy Microwave Polenta

  • Author: Taming of the Spoon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



For the pork ragu

  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup full-bodied red wine (I use a Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth

For the polenta

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup coarse polenta (not the quick-cooking kind; I use Bob’s Red Mill Yellow Corn Grits)
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, optional

For serving

  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


For the pork ragu

  1. Trim and discard any large sections of fat from the pork shoulder, then cut the pork shoulder into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add pork and brown the pieces on all sides, 10–12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
  2. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. If pan is dry, add a splash of wine to help deglaze the pan. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Add wine and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits.
  3. Add tomatoes, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf; stir in water or broth. Add pork along with any juices accumulated on the plate.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil. Then cover, reduce heat, and simmer, adding more water or broth as needed, until meat is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprig. Using 2 forks, shred meat in pot; taste and season with salt and pepper.

For the polenta

  1. Whisk together broth and polenta in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Cover bowl with wax paper and cook in microwave on High until thickened, about 15 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes to combine.
  2. Stir in butter, pepper, and crème fraîche (if using). Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

For serving

  1. Divide polenta among 4 plates. Top with pork ragu, chopped parsley and grated Parmesan. Serve immediately while the polenta is still soft.


Recipe for pork ragu adapted from Bon Appétit, March 2015.

Recipe for polenta adapted from Bon Appétit, March 1990.