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
pork shoulder (or butt)
dry red wine
apple cider vinegar
jam (I used fig, but something like apricot or even marmalade would work too)
large onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced
crushed tomatoes in sauce
red pepper flakes
servings cooked pasta
parmesan cheese, for serving
extra virgin olive oil (for searing the meat)
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large enameled cast-iron pot, heat the olive oil (stovetop) until shimmering.
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.
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.
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.
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.