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Pork Ragù with Polenta

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 20 mins
Total time 7 hrs, 15 mins

Serves 12 (serving size: 2/3 cup ragù and about 2/3 cup polenta)

  Create golden crusts on your pork roast by browning it before placing it in the slow cooker. Red wine, tomatoes, and plenty of aromatics enrich the pork ragù with savory depth as it cooks low and slow. Kale adds earthiness and a welcomed contrast of texture. Once the pork has cooked, use two forks to shred the tender meat before placing it back in the pool of rich sauce. Serve ragù over polenta, pasta, or rice for a hearty, satisfying main that is built for weeknight ease. Big flavor, minimal effort, and all-around comfort food you can feel good about.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 (2-lb.) boneless pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 6 medium shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup unsalted tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 (28-oz.) can unsalted whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups stemmed chopped lacinato kale
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups stone-ground polenta

Nutrition Information

  • calories 267
  • fat 8.1 g
  • satfat 2.1 g
  • monofat 3.9 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 20 g
  • carbohydrate 28 g
  • fiber 3 g
  • cholesterol 51 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 668 mg
  • calcium 51 mg
  • sugars 4 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Rub pork evenly with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker (do not wipe out pan).
  2. Return pan to medium. Add garlic, rosemary, oregano, and shallots to drippings in pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender and garlic is fragrant. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Combine chicken stock and mustard in a 1-cup glass measure, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add stock mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Add stock mixture to slow cooker.
  3. Add tomatoes to slow cooker, gently mashing with a spoon. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or until pork is very tender. Place pork on cutting board. Shred into large pieces with two forks.
  4. Increase slow cooker temperature to HIGH. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt, shredded pork, and kale. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in vinegar.
  5. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over high. Gradually add polenta, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until thickened. Serve ragù over polenta.