A day off! What to do? A easy to prepare slow-cooked meal can be a truly special thing. Ragus are simple Italian meat-based sauces that can warm even the coldest of hearts on a wintery day.
Just the stuff you need
- 3 3/4 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast, quartered
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 3/4 cup diced pancetta
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
- 3 fennel bulbs, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 1 3/4 lb. cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
- 3 Tbs. mushroom demi-glace
- 3 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 lb. pappardelle, cooked al dente
What to do with that stuff
Season the pork with salt and pepper. Dredge the pork in the flour, shaking off the excess. In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the pork to a platter.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the pancetta to the insert and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
Increase the heat to medium-high and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the tomatoes, demi-glace, tomato paste, wine and broth to the insert and bring to a simmer. Add the pork, pancetta mixture and mushrooms and transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base. Cover and cook on high according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the pork is very tender, about 5 hours.
Fold the pasta into the ragù and sprinkle with the parsley. Divide the pasta and sauce among individual bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.