Pork Shoulder & Sausage Ragout

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Pork Shoulder & Sausage Ragout

Pork Shoulder (AKA Boston Butt) and ground sausage are (braised) slow cooked in a 6 quart cast iron pot , instant pot, or crock-pot with red wine and tomatoes, topped with crispy pancetta, and served over grits/polenta or cooked penne pasta.  What’s the difference between cornmeal/grits/polenta?  Not much- cornmeal is finely ground and both grits and polenta are coarsely ground.  Polenta (mostly coming from Italy) uses a specific variety of corn called flint that has a harder center, while grits (mostly coming from the South) uses a softer center corn variety called dent.

Crockpot users: Toss all the ingredients except grits into the crockpot and cook low 6-8 hours.

Insta Pot users:  Sear the meats first and set aside.  Toss all ingredients except grits into the pot and set for 1 hour. Follow cool down instructions.   If time is low throw it all without searing (break up the sausage though!)  & walk away.

  • Author: beckie
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 150 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main Dish / Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop / Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 2 Tbsp safflower or vegetable oil
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 1 1/2 lb pork shoulder, cubed 1 1/4″
  • 1/2 lb mild Italian ground sausage
  • 1 cup (~ 1 medium) onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/4 cup uncooked grits or polenta
  • red pepper flakes, optional for spice
  • Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, optional as garnish
  • sea salt
  • black pepper


  • Add salt and pepper to cubed pork shoulder.
  • Bring a large heavy bottom pot to medium high heat.  Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom.  Add pancetta and fry ~ 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until crispy.  Remove pancetta, set aside and slice when cool.
  • In the same pot, add cubed pork shoulder and sear/brown on each side ~ 3-4 minutes.  You may have to cook in two batches if the pan is not large enough.  Set seared pork aside in a large bowl and add ground sausage to the hot pot.  Cook sausage ~ 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.  Add cooked sausage to pork shoulder bowl.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook ~ 5-7 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until soft.  Stir in minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add red wine, tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme.
  • Stir, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered ~ 2 hours or until pork shoulder is soft.    Remove from heat and press pork pieces against edge of pot to coarsely break up the chunks of meat.  Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Cook grits according to package instructions.
  • Serve ragout over grits and add cooked & sliced pancetta.   Add crushed red pepper flakes if you like it spicy and Parmesan or Mozzarella if you like it cheesy.  Happy Eating!  Beckie



  • Already using all your stovetop burners?  No problem – put the simmering dish in the oven at 350F for 2 hours instead of cooking it on the stovetop.
  • A simmer is a gentle boil where the bubbles just break the surface of the liquid.
  • Like it spicy?  Try hot italian sausage instead of mild.
  • Don’t have pancetta?  Use bacon or skip that step.


Things In My Kitchen:

  • 6 quart cast iron pot for searing & braising (slow cooking) the ragout.
  • Instant Pot – For quick cooking.  Sear or don’t sear depending on your mood & day.
  • Crockpot – Throw it in, set it on low for 8 hours.  Walk away.

For more kitchen items I love/use: please visit my shop page.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting my blog & love of cooking.

Keywords: Pork Shoulder, Italian, Pancetta, Sausage, Pork, Gluten Free, Spicy, Winter, Fall, Braised, Crockpot, Instant Pot, Stew, Grits, Polenta

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Pork Shoulder & Sausage Ragout

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