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Pork Ragu with Ciabatta and Ricotta Salata

Pork Ragu with Ciabatta and Ricotta Salata
Serves 4
Serve this ragu over pasta, polenta, or—as here—with thick slices of toasted bread. The ragu freezes well, so double the recipe if you’d like.
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  2. 2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 4-inch pieces
  3. Kosher salt, to taste
  4. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  5. 1 yellow onion, chopped
  6. ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  7. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  8. ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  9. ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  10. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  11. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  12. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
  13. 2 cups dry red wine
  14. 1 28-ounce can crushed Italian plum tomatoes
  15. 6 cups vegetable broth
  16. 1 loaf ciabatta bread, thickly sliced
  17. Grated ricotta salata, to garnis
  1. ►Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Season pork shoulder generously with salt and pepper, then add pork to hot pan and sear all over, about 10 minutes per side. Transfer pork to a plate.
  2. ►Add onion to oil remaining in pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add fennel seeds, garlic, and chopped herbs and cook until fragrant, another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add red wine and tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot.
  3. ►Add seared pork and vegetable broth and season mixture again with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 2 hours, or until pork shreds easily.
  4. >Transfer pork to cutting board or clean plate. Bring remaining liquid to a rapid boil and cook until reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  5. ►Meanwhile, heat oven to 425°F. Arrange sliced ciabatta in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake until lightly toasted, 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. ►Shred pork with two forks and season to taste. Once sauce is thick and seasoned, stir shredded pork back in to reheat.
  7. ►Put toasted ciabatta in a large bowl and spoon pork ragu over top. Garnish with ricotta salata and serve immediately.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/
Photography by Jennifer Silverberg

Cassy Vires

Cassy is an award-winning chef, culinary educator, and avid baker located in St. Louis, MO.

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