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Pork Ragu for a Crowd

January 2, 2015

By Kath Dedon


Pork Ragu for a Crowd is a perfect choice for a winter dinner party. It easily serves up to 12 people and it can be made ahead of time. In fact, it is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day.

I found the recipe for Pork Ragu for a Crowd in Domenica Marchetti’s Big Night In – More Than 100 Wonderful Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends Italian-Style. Domenica says it makes enough to sauce at least 3 pounds of pasta and she recommends using a short pasta shape, like rigatoni. I decided to serve it with polenta instead and I loved the rich, meaty sauce paired with the creamy polenta. (Bob totally disagreed but that’s because he just doesn’t like polenta.)

I made the ragu a couple of days before the party and refrigerated it. Then all I had to do was heat it up on the day of the party.

Whether you use pasta or polenta, I absolutely recommend that you try the Pork Ragu for a Crowd even if you’re not serving a crowd. The leftover ragu will freeze beautifully for future meals.


Pork Ragu for a Crowd, served with Easy Slow Cooker Polenta

Pork Ragu for a Crowd served with polenta_edited-2


Pork Ragu for a Crowd

(Adapted from a recipe in Domenica Marchetti’s Big Night In)


Technically, the ragu I made was Pork and Chicken Ragu because the grocery store was out of pork sausage and I used chicken sausage. It worked fine, but I would use pork sausage next time.


(print the recipe)


Serves 10 – 12


Some of the ingredients for the ragu



3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, in one or two pieces

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large yellow onions, diced (about 5 cups)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry red wine

7 cups chopped canned tomatoes with their juices

4 bay leaves

1 large or 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 pound mild Italian pork sausage


I cut the large roast into 2 pieces

boneless pork shoulder roast


  1. Heat the ¼ cup of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  1. Salt and pepper the pork on all sides. (I cut the large roast into 2 smaller pieces.) Brown the pork on all sides in the hot pan. Remove the browned pork from the pan.


Browned pork removed to a stainless steel bowl.

browned roast


3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are softened.



4. Put the pork back in the pan and add the wine. After it has cooked for about 1 minute, add in the tomatoes with their juices, the bay leaves and the rosemary sprigs.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Remove the sausage from its casing, break it into small pieces and add it to the sauce.

6. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 – 2½ hours, until the pork roast is very tender. Adjust the heat, if necessary, so the ragu is gently simmering, not boiling. (I had to turn my burner to the lowest setting to maintain a gentle simmer.)


Gently simmering

Ragu simmering


7. When the pork is fork-tender, remove it from the ragu and shred it using two forks. Add it back to the ragu and heat briefly so the meat and the sauce are both hot.


Shredding the pork

Shredding pork


8. Serve with pasta or polenta. Leftover sauce can be frozen.


Finished ragu

After simmering a while_edited-1


Served with Polenta

Pork Ragu for a Crowd

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2015 9:11 am

    This looks so hearty and amazing!

    • January 7, 2015 9:30 am

      Thanks, Raven! It really is a great winter comfort dish! Happy New Year. 🙂

  2. January 29, 2015 5:09 am

    It’s freezing outside right now—and I could really go for a hearty dish like this… !


  1. Easy Slow Cooker Polenta | In the kitchen with Kath

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