So, what is a ragu? Very simple. In Italian cuisine, it's a meat-based sauce that is commonly served with pasta. This recipe uses country style pork ribs. Typically, this type of ragu would take a couple of hours to simmer (or slow roast in the oven) so that the meat becomes fall-apart tender.
These ribs didn't come boneless. No big.
With a good boning knife and a few extra minutes, these were cut into 1-inch pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper.
You can make this on the stove and then slow cook this. No problem. However, with my pressure cooker, I used the browning cycle to cook half the pork and lightly brown them. Next, chopped onions are added and cooked until softened, for about another 5 minutes.
To build flavor, I add plenty of fresh garlic, tomato paste, oregano and red pepper flakes and I cooked this for about 30 seconds. Last, and certainly not least, I added red wine, and simmered that until it's nearly evaporated. In goes crushed tomatoes and chicken broth...
...and the remaining pork.
NOTE: I've had readers ask me why I only browned half the pork. I have no idea why. It's just how America's Test Kitchen posted the recipe, it's how I followed it and it worked!
If you're using a slow cooker, set it on low for 4-6 hours. If using a Dutch oven, simmer for about an hour or so. Ah, but if using a pressure cooker-- lock the lid on, and pressure cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Then, do a "natural release" for about 15 minutes.
Yeah, like that. Using a large spoon, skim the excess fat from the surface of the sauce. Break the meat into bite-size pieces with a spoon. Then, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium high-heat and cook until slightly thickened-- about 5 minutes. Add some fresh chopped parsley, taste for seasoning (adjust with salt and pepper, to your liking) and serve.
I served this over tubular pasta.
TASTING NOTES: Outstanding! Using pork, instead of beef, is a nice change of pace. The sauce is rich and hearty. You can't taste the wine, but it definitely adds a nice balance of acidity and depth of flavor. The meat is super tender, the balance of garlic is perfection. We froze the leftover ragu, and the second time around I spooned it over polenta-- which was out of this world! Yeah. Polenta, that's definitely going to be our favorite way to enjoy this. My husband loved it, as did I.
This recipe comes from this cookbook, by America's Test Kitchen. I've made several recipes, and have been very happy with the results. This recipe, so far, is one of my favorites from the cookbook.
I've also created a new category under my "Recipes by Category" where I will start to provide the pressure cooker recipes I've made-- and there are many more to come.
Scroll down to see the printable recipe.