Braised ragu is a hearty meat sauce that's best made in large quantities. Since you'll be cooking down a large pork shoulder, it's great for portioning into small batches to use now and some to freeze for later. Make this recipe as spicy as you like, using Calabrian chilies or dried chili flakes; we're using fresh Radiatore pasta in this recipe but ragu is also great with pappardelle.
1kg bone-in pork shoulder roast
2 large cans whole plum tomato, hand crushed
2 Onion, medium diced
6 cloves garlic, whole
1 can of pilsner or similar style beer
10 sprigs thyme
2-3 Calabrian chilis, minced
1 litre chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Canola or vegetable oil, for searing, and sauté
Pre heat oven to 250ºF. Season pork shoulder heavily with salt and pepper, on all sides. Heat a cast iron pan on high with a small amount of canola oil, until very hot. Sear and crust pork roast, getting a nice golden brown on all sides. Remove from heat. In a dutch oven or casserole dish deep enough to fit the roast (foil will work too!).
On medium high, heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil, and caramelize diced onions. Once onions are lightly browned, add whole cloves of garlic. (don't worry, they will pretty much melt by the end!) continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes and add thyme, giving it a good mix around. Pour in a can of beer and add the pork roast. Pour the hand crushed tomato over the top, add chilies and make sure the roast is submerged. Top up with chicken stock or water to ensure the roast is fully covered. Cover and pop in to the oven for 6-8 hours, until the pork is super tender.
Place a baking tray underneath to catch any boil over. Once pork is fully cooked remove bone and any butcher twine. Shred the pork with a couple forks and mix it all together - remove thyme stems as they come up. Adjust with salt and pepper, to your taste.
Cook your fresh pasta in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until al dente. Add some of your ragu to a pan and allow to simmer. Add your pasta to the sauce and a small amount of pasta water for consistency. Season again to taste, adding more chillies for heat. Finish with fresh grated Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano.