This melt-in-your-mouth Pork Ragu is brimming with cozy vibes! And thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s quick and foolproof.

About My Instant Pot Pork Ragu

When it comes to cold-weather comfort food, a good pork ragu is definitely at the top of our list. Think a hearty rich tomato sauce, warming herbs, and tender pork that just falls apart at the nudge of a fork.

And with this recipe, you don’t have to tend to it for hours. Just a quick 40-minute pressure cook and you’ve got yourself a restaurant quality pork ragu!

You’ll impress, and everyone’s bellies will be extremely happy. Believe me.

What Is Pork Ragu?

Generally speaking, ragu is a meat-based sauce served over pasta. But it’s style varies throughout different parts of Italy.

In Northern regions of Italy, a ragu is usually made up of chopped or ground meat whereas in Southern regions, it’s prepared with larger cuts of meat like I’ve used in this recipe. A lot of recipes include vegetables, tomatoes, and stock—but there are a few variations that cut out tomatoes.

In short, ragu is pretty flexible.

Ingredients

Exact measurements are in the recipe card

  • Boneless pork shoulder or butt
  • Olive oil
  • Sweet onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Red wine
  • Dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh poultry blend of herbs
  • Can of crushed tomatoes
  • Beef broth
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
  • Hunk of parmesan rind (optional)
  • Heavy cream

How to Make Pork Ragu in an Instant Pot

  • Remove the pork from the fridge and cut it into 4-6 equal parts.
  • Season the pork with sea salt and cracked pepper; set it aside and prep your veggies.
  • Activate Sauté mode on the Instant Pot. Add about a TBSP of oil. Once the oil is warmed, transfer two or three chunks of pork shoulder into the Instant Pot; don’t crowd the pot.
  • Sear each side for 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned, then transfer the pork to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the chunks of pork.
  • Add more oil to the IP if necessary, then add in the onions, carrots, and celery. Hit it with a pinch of salt and sauté until the veggies are tender and the onions are translucent. Stir in garlic and simmer for about 30 seconds.
  • Pop in the tomato paste and give it a good stir; add the wine. As it simmers, use a mixing spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Let it all simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced.
  • Toss in the dried porcini mushrooms, bay leaves, herbs, crushed tomatoes, broth, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chunks of pork followed by the hunk of parmesan rind.
  • Secure the lid onto the IP and set the valve to SEAL. Cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes; let it naturally release naturally for 15 minutes afterward, then hit the valve to manually release.
  • Carefully remove the pork and transfer it to a cutting board to shred; discard any fat.
  • In the meantime, activate Sauté mode (Normal) and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced a bit to thicken it up.
  • Remove the herbs and the parmesan rind from the sauce.
  • Stir in the tempered cream (*See recipe notes).
  • Transfer the shredded pork back to the pot and stir it into the sauce; this will thicken it up even more giving you the optimal cozy ragu!
  • Serve over pasta with shredded parmesan and freshly chopped parsley.

Recipe Tips

  1. I like to use dried porcini mushrooms in this recipe because dried mushrooms add a really nice and rich flavor. You could use 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms instead, or omit the mushrooms completely if preferred. When using dried mushrooms in the Instant Pot, you don’t have to pre-soak them.
  2. For a little extra beefy oumph, I add a tsp of Better Than Bouillon’s beef base.
  3. If you save and freeze your parmesan rinds for homemade soups and sauces, this is a great recipe to use one in!
  4. When adding the cream, you’ll want to temper it in to avoid curdling. To do this, place the cream into a small mixing bowl. Slowly add about 1 cup of the sauce from the IP into the cream, whisking it constantly. When done, transfer it back to the IP. The idea is to slowly warm the cream before adding it to the sauce.
  5. If you’re worried about the sauce not being thick enough, rest assured that once you stir in the cream and add the shredded pork to it, the sauce will thicken up very nicely.

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White bowl of pappardelle pasta tossed in pork ragu, garnished with parsley.

Instant Pot Pork Ragu

This melt-in-your-mouth Pork Ragu is brimming with cozy vibes! And thanks to the Instant Pot, it's quick and foolproof.
5 from 24 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings, give or take
Calories: 371kcal
Author: Dana Sandonato

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder or butt
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced; approx 1 cup
  • 1 large carrot, diced; approx 1 cup
  • 1 rib of celery, diced; approx 1 cup
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed then minced
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine I use cabernet sauvignon
  • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms (Optional) *See notes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 packet of fresh "Poultry Blend" herbs If you can't find this, a blend of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme.
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • Hunk of parmesan rind (Optional) *See notes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Remove the pork from the fridge. Cut it into 4-6 equal parts. Optional: If prefered, you can trim off excess fat. I suggest keeping it on, however, since fat = flavor. It will melt off of the meat throughout the cooking process and will be easy to remove when shredding.
  • Season the pork with a generous amount of sea salt and cracked pepper. Set it aside to come to room temp (this results in a more even cook) and prep your vegetables.
  • Activate Sauté mode (Normal) on the Instant Pot and add a TBSP of oil. When hot, place 2 or 3 chunks of pork into the Instant Pot. Do it in batches so you don’t crowd them in the pot.
  • Sear each side for about 2-3 minutes or until the exterior of the pork is nicely browned, then transfer the pieces to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the chunks of pork.
  • Add more oil to the pot if needed, then add the onions, carrots, and celery. Season with a pinch of salt, and sauté until the veggies are tender and the onions are translucent. Stir in garlic and let it simmer for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, then add the wine. As it simmers, use a mixing spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Let it all simmer for about 3-4 minutes or until the liquid has reduced.
  • Toss in the dried porcini mushrooms, bay leaves, herbs, crushed tomatoes, broth, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the chunks of pork, followed by the hunk of parmesan rind.
  • Secure the lid onto the IP and set the valve to SEAL. Cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes; let it naturally release naturally for 15 minutes afterward, then hit the valve to manually release.Carefully remove the pork and transfer it to a cutting board to shred; discard any fat.
  • In the meantime, activate Sauté mode (Normal) and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced a bit to thicken it up.Remove the herbs and the parmesan rind from the sauce.Stir in the tempered cream (*See recipe notes).
  • Transfer the shredded pork back to the pot and stir it into the sauce; this will thicken it up even more giving you the optimal cozy ragu!Serve over pasta with shredded parmesan and freshly chopped parsley.

Notes

  1.  Dried porcini mushrooms add a really nice and rich flavor. You could use 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms instead, or omit the mushrooms completely. When using dried mushrooms in the Instant Pot, you don’t have to pre-soak them.
  2. For a little extra beefy oumph, I add a tsp of Better Than Bouillon’s beef base.
  3. If you save and freeze your parmesan rinds for homemade soups and sauces, this is a great recipe to use one in!
  4. When adding the cream, you’ll want to temper it in to avoid curdling. To do this, place the cream into a small mixing bowl. Slowly add about 1 cup of the sauce from the IP into the cream, whisking it constantly. When done, transfer it back to the IP. The idea is to slowly warm the cream before adding it to the sauce.
  5. If you’re worried about the sauce not being thick enough, rest assured that once you stir in the cream and add the shredded pork to it, the sauce will thicken up very nicely.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g