Cast Iron

Pork Sugo

March 11, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

My sister likes to say that I was put on this earth for one reason: to roast pork. Roasted pork shoulder is one of my favorite things to make for a crowd: it’s delicious, easy, inexpensive, feeds a ton of people, is hard to screw up (the longer you leave it, the more tender it gets, just add more liquid if it starts to dry out), and always impresses my guests. It's also versatile! Carnitas, BBQ sandwiches, pernil… and now sugo! I first had pork sugo at a restaurant here in Seattle, and fell in love. It's a rich tomato-wine sauce with shredded pork, tossed with pasta of your choice (pappardelle would be amazing!). —Loves Food Loves to Eat

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder (or butt)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon jam (I used fig, but something like apricot or even marmalade would work too)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 8-10 servings cooked pasta
  • parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 1 splash extra virgin olive oil (for searing the meat)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large enameled cast-iron pot, heat the olive oil (stovetop) until shimmering.
  3. Pat the pork dry, and season the pork with salt and pepper. Sear a few pieces at a time over medium-high heat on all sides, add back in once all pieces are seared. Add wine to deglaze, and remove from heat.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (excluding the pasta and parmesan). Start with 1.5 cups of the chicken stock, you can add the rest later if it doesn’t seem saucy enough. For moderate spice-level, use about ½ tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Take it up or down depending on your preference.
  5. Cover and cook in preheated oven around 4-5 hours, until sauce has thickened and meat is fall-apart tender. Remove the thyme springs, and with a fork, break up the pork and mix it in with the sauce. This is where you can add the rest of the chicken stock, if needed. You can also reserve pasta water, and use that to loosen it up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To serve, mix in with cooked pasta of your choice, and top with a hearty spoonful of grated parmesan and a pinch of fresh thyme.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lauren
  • sevenfaces
  • Kersh in the Kitch
    Kersh in the Kitch
  • Loves Food Loves to Eat
    Loves Food Loves to Eat
  • cookinginvictoria

17 Reviews

Biddycook November 2, 2019
Thank you for posting! Really terrific recipe. Made pork Sugo sandwiches with left over pork - Toasty bread and provolone. Next time will add more tomatoes to make more sauce.
Lauren February 4, 2018
Wow, was this ever good! I used a bit more tomatoes — a 32 oz can — and a 2.5 pound piece of pork that I left whole, as I missed the correction in the comments. I also softened the onions (used a whole large one, not half) and garlic in a pan before adding them to the other ingredients, as I think aromatics need some direct heat. It came out insanely delicious. Served over papparedelle. For lunch today, we’re going to try it on fresh rolls, like an Italian pulled pork sandwich.
sevenfaces December 7, 2014
I love this (almost) all-in approach - 20 minutes work, then I put my feet up for 4 hours and ended up with a delicious dinner! Instead of adding jam, I diced up a couple of small red apples. I served this with an apple cabbage slaw and sourdough buns. Thank you for sharing this recipe! :D
spoon March 22, 2013
this was great! i ended up adding an extra 15 oz can of tomatoes in sauce at towards the end, since the tomato flavor was a bit too subtle for me. i'll definitely be making this again: quick and easy to put together, and then you can forget about it while you prep the rest of your meal.
Loves F. March 22, 2013
So glad you liked it!!! I love dishes that you can easily tweak to your own tastes without screwing up!
Nan March 18, 2013
It's in the oven now 4-5 hrs to go. I will fill you in when it is finished, Congrats
Loves F. March 18, 2013
Thanks!! Hope you enjoy it!
Kersh I. March 15, 2013
This looks incredible and great for a crowd!
Loves F. March 18, 2013
Thanks! And yes, it is SO great for a crowd!
Loves F. March 15, 2013
I don't think I can edit while it's in a contest. I forgot to add the first step above: Trim the pork (leave some fat for flavor, but trim most of it off) and cut into 4-5 large chunks.
Dzsmith265 March 15, 2013
Is the pork shoulder or butt cut up into chunks or seared whole?
Loves F. March 15, 2013
Ah! Thanks for pointing that out: Cut into 4-5 large pieces. I'll update the recipe.
cookinginvictoria March 13, 2013
I love long-cooked pork pasta sauces, and your recipe looks fabulous. What a great idea to add fig jam to the sugo as it braises. I'll bet it gives the sauce a wonderful, but subtle hint of sweetness. Looking forward to trying this recipe.
gingerroot March 13, 2013
Can't wait to make this. I know it will be delicious!
Loves F. March 13, 2013
Thanks! It is delicious! And the best part about roasted pork is that you can improvise, and add or subtract as you see fit!
aargersi March 12, 2013
um, YUM!
Loves F. March 13, 2013