Pork Ragout

From Geoff Last

2014 Nov/Dec

If you use leftover pork butt (shoulder) you won’t need to brown the meat first, simply add the chopped meat to your simmered onions along with the tomato sauce and other ingredients. You could also use leftover roast beef. This is a simple dish but it does take time. I often make a double batch and freeze half; it’s great to have on hand when the cupboard is bare.


  • 5 T. olive oil
  • 2 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed and chopped in 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t. crushed dried chiles (add up to 1 t. if you want more zip)
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped (with juices)
  • 1 c. beef or chicken stock (home-made quality)
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil, coarsely chopped


Heat a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot and add 3 T. of the oil. Add the pork and stir-fry over medium-high heat until it takes on some colour, about 3 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the remaining 2 T. of oil, then add the onions and reduce the heat to low, sautéing them for about a half hour until they start to caramelize. Return the meat to the pan and stir in the paprika, chiles, salt and pepper, then add the wine and increase the heat to medium. When most of the wine has cooked off, after about 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Add the fresh basil just prior to serving.

I like to serve this over penne or pappardelle noodles that have been tossed with butter, garnishing the dish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Makes about 8 large servings over pasta.