Jonathan Vlasic's Pork Ragu

This is it, grandmas pork ragu that I can still smell from her driveway as soon as I exit the vehicle. This recipe is great to prep in the morning and finish off closer to dinner time. I usually start this when I have my coffee, get it built up, nice and hot, then shut it off. Once I’m home from my errands, I fire it back up again. You could make variations on this recipe by adding hot sausage or even some zucchini just at the end.



  • 3 oz EVOO
  • 2 # Pork Country Ribs
  • ½ of a medium onion (small diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 1 julienne roma tomato
  • ½ T dry basil
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 28 oz of smooth tomato sauce
  • 2.5 oz. of fresh carrot chunked
  • Water as needed
  • Tomato paste as needed
  • Kosher salt to taste and season
  • Black pepper mill to taste and season
  • Pinch of granulated sugar


  1. Generously season the pork country ribs as the olive oil is preheating in the ragu pan. Heat oil to the just early stages of smoking point, to get caramelized sear. Carefully lower pork unto the hot oil and sear, just until browned.
  2. Flip and sear other side, then remove from the pan and set aside to collect natural juices
  3. Using the same pan, quickly start sauteing the onion. The moisture from the onions will deglaze pork fond on the bottom of the ragu pan. Once onions are halfway caramelized, add garlic and briefly saute, then add fresh tomatoes and briefly saute, then steep dry basil for 15 seconds. Deglaze with water until the bottom of the ragu pan is clean. A wooden spoon is the best tool for this application due to the friction.
  4. Add both cans of tomatoes.
  5. Add enough water to cover the ribs and to adjust for the liquid that will be lost while braising
  6. Add carrots, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir in and completely incorporate. Reduce heat to low and let that gravy simmer all day.
  7. Simmer on low for approximately 3 hr. or so, until The pork is fork-tender. Adding water throughout the braising process and frequently stirring is essential. Leave sauce at the end a little watery enough to take a touch of tomato paste. I believe a fine quality tomato paste adds to a better end result.
  8. Cool down the sauce and remove rib bones, then shred the meat, toss with sauce and your favorite style pasta
  9. Finish with fresh-off-the-grater sheep's milk Romano cheese


Jonathan Vlasic

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