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Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu

slow-cooker pork ragu Entree
Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu
  • Prep 40 min
  • Total 8 hr 40 min
  • Servings 8

This slow-cooked pasta sauce goes well beyond the average spaghetti topper with all-day slow-cooked flavor. Pork shoulder, bacon and aromatic vegetables cook in a crushed tomato sauce and thicken to a hearty, rich consistency that pairs well with rigatoni pasta in particular. Make it a day ahead when you have some extra time, and let the flavors mellow and meld—or just be sure to save some leftovers! This take on a classic Italian sauce is sure to impress your dinner table regulars and special guests alike. MORE+ LESS-

Updated February 25, 2019
Progresso Broth
Make with
Progresso Broth

Ingredients

8
slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped (half of a 12-oz package)
1 1/2
lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4
teaspoon salt
1/2
teaspoon pepper
1 1/2
cups chopped onions
2
cups chopped carrots
5
cloves garlic, chopped
2
teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/2
cup Progresso™ chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1
can (28 oz) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
6
cups cooked rigatoni pasta (about 4 1/2 cups uncooked)
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
Chopped fresh oregano leaves, basil or Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, if desired

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    Spray 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • 2
    In 5-quart Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. With slotted spoon, remove bacon to small bowl.
  • 3
    Season pork with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Add half of the pork to bacon drippings in Dutch oven, and cook 4 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned. With slotted spoon, remove pork from Dutch oven to slow cooker. Repeat with remaining pork.
  • 4
    Add onions, carrots, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to Dutch oven; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Stir in garlic and oregano; cook 30 seconds. Add broth; heat to simmering, stirring to remove brown bits on bottom. Transfer mixture to slow cooker with pork. Stir in tomatoes and bacon.
  • 5
    Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until pork is tender and easily falls apart. Before serving, shred pork with two forks. Serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs.

Expert Tips

  • Pork Ragu can be made the day before! Be sure to cool uncovered 30 minutes before transferring pork to two microwavable storage containers. Cover and refrigerate. To reheat, microwave pork loosely covered on high 4 to 6 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
  • Boneless pork shoulder is often sold in 3 1/2 to 4 lb. Ask the grocery butcher to cut to desired size since this recipe uses a smaller amount. Or, cut pork shoulder to desired size and freeze remaining portion for another use.
  • Serve with a fresh green salad and a side of warm, crusty bread to complete this meal.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cup Ragu and 3/4 Cup Pasta
Calories
540
Calories from Fat
130
% Daily Value
Total Fat
15g
22%
Saturated Fat
5g
24%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
60mg
20%
Sodium
490mg
20%
Potassium
550mg
16%
Total Carbohydrate
70g
23%
Dietary Fiber
5g
21%
Sugars
5g
Protein
32g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
110%
110%
Vitamin C
4%
4%
Calcium
4%
4%
Iron
20%
20%
Exchanges:
2 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 3 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
4 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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