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Tender Pork Ragu

This Tender Stovetop Pork Ragu is rustic, simple, and supremely delicious. Everything is cooked in one big pot, to savory perfection. This fork-tender Pork Ragu is a surefire crowd pleaser. Bonus: it can be made a day or two ahead of time!


Easy Stovetop Pork Ragu

I’m always on the hunt for make ahead meals because…life.

Any busy season of life makes all do-ahead things high on the priority list. Anything that can be streamlined = yes, please.

Enter this Stovetop Pork Ragu. It covers all bases. It’s a fabulously delicious dish that can be made well ahead of time. By that, we mean you can make this pork ragu up to 2 days in advance, which means it’s a perfect meal prep recipe.

This pork ragu is easy enough for a work-at-home day, yet it’s delicious enough for dinner with family and friends on the weekend. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, this dish tastes amazing the next day.


Fresh Herbs

This succulent Pork Ragu is rustic, supremely tender, and tastes ridiculously fantastic.

It’s chock full of fresh herbs. Rosemary is especially apropos where slow braised pork is concerned. Fresh thyme and rosemary are classic for roasts and anything made in a big pot or Dutch oven.

The flavors come together to form a warm and comforting dish that begs to be served over buttered noodles, perfectly cooked rice, or crusty bread. As always, mashed potatoes are a great pairing.


The best cut for long, slow braise

This is an awesome way to use the more affordable cut of pork shoulder, sometimes labeled pork butt. It’s a favorite cut for long, slow braising. The ample simmer time makes this budget friendly cut into an incredibly savory and guest-worthy dish.

One bite and they’ll be raving over the tender, savory, rustic, and flavorful meal you could easily have made a day beforehand.

The flavors actually gain depth after resting overnight.

Pork Ragu with Herbs

More Recipes to Make and Eat

Try this Sheet Pan Pork Tenderloin, Too:

Did you make this?

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A pot of Pork Ragu with herbs

Tender Stovetop Pork Ragu

4.80 from 5 ratings
This Tender Stovetop Pork Ragu is rustic, simple, and supremely delicious. Everything is cooked in one big pot, to savory perfection. This fork-tender Pork Ragu is a surefire crowd pleaser. Bonus: it can be made a day or two ahead of time!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 6
Author: Amy Dong


  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder/butt, cut into quarters
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TB olive or canola oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • ½ cup full bodied red wine
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with juices
  • 4 large sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • Optional Garnishes: freshly chopped parsley or other fresh herbs


  • Towel-dry the pork on all sides. Sprinkle a thin, even layer of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides of pork and pat seasoning in.
  • Heat 1 TB oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium heat. Brown pork on all sides, 10-12 min. Transfer browned pork to a dish.
  • Remove burned bits from pot but leave rest of pan drippings and golden bits there. Add onion and garlic to the pot with remaining 1 TB oil. Stir often over medium heat until onion is caramelizing, 5-10 min. Add tomato paste and stir until slightly darkened in color, 1 min.
  • Add wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until mixture is thickened, 1 min. Add tomatoes with juices, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves; stir in 2 cups water. Add pork with accumulated juices.
  • Bring liquid to a boil and reduce to simmer. With lid slightly ajar, continue to simmer until pork is very fork-tender and sauce is thickened (thicker than a typical pasta sauce) 3-4 hours.
  • Shred pork or break apart into bite-size pieces. Taste and season with additional kosher salt and black pepper, as needed. Garnish with more freshly chopped herbs, as desired. 


Entire dish can be made 1-2 days ahead of time: cover and cool room temp. Chill in fridge until ready to reheat.
Pork Ragu can be stored in freezer containers with lids, for future freezer meals.
Pork Ragu is delicious served with noodles/pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice. 

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.3g | Protein: 54.3g | Fat: 11.2g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: 165.5mg | Sodium: 358.2mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 8.6g
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Stovetop

Here are some of our favorite roasts:

  1. Most Tender Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker. The epitome of slow cooker awesomeness.
Tender Pot Roast

2. Cuban Braised Pork with Mojo Sauce. This alone made us fall in love with Mojo. Fork-tender deliciousness.

cuban braised pork mojo 4

3. Slow Cooker Pork Loin. Fabulously tender pork loin with the ease of a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Pork Loin

4. Slow Cooker Kalua Pork. Simply amazing and addictive over a bed of rice.


Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Allie S

    Trying this tomorrow! I have some garden root veggies to roast on the side. Will let you know how it turns out!! 🙂

    • Beck & Bulow
    • 5 stars

    I need to cook 3 pork tenderloins…should I cooke separately, or an I cook all at once?

      • chewoutloud

      If they add up to about 3 pounds total, you can follow recipe as written – except you’ll need to lessen cook time by quite a bit, as tenderloins are a very different cut than pork shoulder/butt. Rather than simmering for hours, it will likely be done with less than 1 hour simmer time.

    • Julie

    Can you cook this on low in a crockpot?

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, Julie! I’d suggest cooking on low, 8-10 hours or until tender. Enjoy!

    • Cyndi
    • 5 stars

    This is fantastic. I’ve made it over and over again!

      • chewoutloud

      That’s awesome, Cyndi!

    • Liz Long
    • 4 stars

    I tried this because I’ve never had ragu before and this sounded great. It was ok but couldn’t taste the thyme and rosemary even though I used the recommended amount. Not sure if I did something wrong but it was a bit plain.

      • chewoutloud

      Liz, we’d recommend trying again but use larger sprigs of herbs. Save some for the end, to use as garnish for extra flavor. I’m with you – I love big, bold flavors! 🙂

    • Julie Fox
    • 5 stars

    Hi Amy, as I’m in Australia (g’day Melbourne), it hasn’t been cold enough (til now) to do any slow cooking. But I made this last night, but “mexi-fied” it. Or rather added some Mexican flavours. Then we shredded it/made pulled pork & had it in tacos (crisp shell). And can I tell you it was heaven in a taco. I’d never had pulled pork tacos before (we usually use beef). So glad I found you, but it’s gonna take me some time to catch up. But then I may always be 6 mths behind so I’m in the right season! xx

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, so glad you liked it, Julie! 🙂 The taco sounds awesome! Thanks for taking the time to come over and let us know; hope you continue finding recipes here that you love! G’day! 🙂

    • Martin @ The Why Chef

    I normally associate ragu with beef, but this sounds great, especially with all the juices pork shoulder gives off. Cooking this while I’m at work for 8 hours on low should still give the delicious pulled effect shouldn’t it?

      • chewoutloud

      Definitely and totally, Martin! Thanks for coming over today and have a great holiday season! Hope you guys love this recipe as much as our peeps do 🙂

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