Instant-Pot Pork Ragu. Once I get going on batches of this, I CAN’T STOP. It’s as lean and light, and protein-packed as they come, and so easy to make a huge batch for eating now and freezing for later… and EATING more now.
It’s that soul-warming and belly-pleasing bowl that generally just makes me want to curl up on my couch in one of those perfectly oversized and heathered sweaters– the one that covers part of your hands, revealing a feminine and moody winter manicure, along with effortlessly flattering joggers and a darling messy bun…(insert hysterical laughing emoji.)
I wish I had a real photo of me snuggling up to this. I’d definitely be in something just as oversized, but much less manicured. And most likely splattered with tomato sauce. Proof that I’m loving it. But this ragu will still be PERFECTION.
What do I need for the Instant Pot Pork Ragu?
- Pork tenderloin – I always stay stocked from Costco. It’s such a lean, inexpensive protein that’s easy to prepare, and my whole family loves! We use it for our FAVORITE carnitas, greek shredded pork pitas (OBSESSED), grilled brown sugar spiced pork tenderloin, bbq pulled pork sandwiches… and more. It’s fool-proof. And about as low in fat as chicken breast.
- Veggies: carrots, celery, onions– the usual trifecta.. plus some cauliflower to thicken at the end.
- Spices: basic stuff. Salt, pepper, some Italian seasoning, and obviously GARLIC. You know I’m ALWAYS ALWAYS using the frozen cubes similar to these.
- Cooking wine: Or feel free to use something higher quality. I remember reading once that you should never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink. But I don’t drink wine so I get the cheap stuff and call it good. Ha.
- Canned tomatoes: I always use and recommend San Marzano if you can find them. I just think the taste is superior! I get mine at Trader Joe’s.
- Tomato Paste: You can always buy the little cans but I hate having to store the leftovers! I love buying the resealable tube from Trader Joe’s. Available at some regular grocery stores too.
- Beef broth: I just use the boxed cartons from Costco. But any beef broth will do. The macros for this one are NOT calculated with bone broth, which will add more protein.
How to make Instant-Pot Pork Ragu: Let’s call it three steps. Ha.
- Using the sauté setting in your Instant Pot, sear hunks of salt and peppered pork until they’re browned on all sides. Add veggies, seasoning, tomatoes and tomato paste. Close lid and valve. (Here’s an affiliate link to the Instant Pot I have. I have never used a kitchen appliance as much as this one!)
- Cook at high pressure for 40 minutes, then let the pressure release (naturally, or you can open the vent.) Remove lid, turn to sauté setting again, and shred meat while you let the sauce reduce a bit.
- Add wine and continue to let it boil/simmer. Then add steamed and blended cauliflower, and beef broth. Let simmer for a few more.. all done!
Do I NEED an Instant Pot?
No! Feel free to put it all in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours in high. Searing the meat first in a hot pan will always improve flavor.
Or, you can use a dutch oven like I did above. Sear the meat right in the pot. Then remove and sauté your veggies in the same pot. Add it all back in, up through the canned tomatoes and paste. Cover, and place in 350 degree oven for about 2-3 hours, until your pork is easy to shred. Put pot back on your burner to simmer with the lid off while you shred your pork. Then continue with the steps for wine, blended cauliflower, and beef broth.
Got a family to feed?
I like to split the ragu in half and toss half with pappardelle for my family. Pull the pasta directly from the hot pot of water and throw it in your sauce so you’re sure to get a little bit of starchy pasta water to help the ragu stick to the noodles. I also like to toss in a little butter because.
Well just because.
Now when I snag a bite of theirs it’s EXTRA delicious. Also my whole family loves it, and I can still sit down with a big bowl of my LEAN and TASTY instant pot pork ragu over spaghetti squash and feel like I’m part of the club.
Instant Pot Pork Ragu
- 870 g pork 2 Costco tenderloins trimmed, chopped into 4 inch chunks (I just cut each tenderloin into about 5 pieces.)
- 4 cups onion diced (I used frozen!– 400 g)
- 1 cup celery chopped (110 g)
- 2 cups carrots chopped (250 g)
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 8 cloves of garlic minced (or frozen Dorot cubes)
- 28- oz can San Marzano tomatoes crushed well in hands or quickly pulsed in blender
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 10 oz cauliflower steamed (I just buy the fresh bag to steam in the microwave)
- 2.5 cups beef broth
- 1 cup cooking wine
- Set Instant Pot to the sauté setting and let it get nice and hot. Spray with a mist of olive oil spray.
- Sprinkle chunks of meat liberally with kosher salt and pepper and sear on all sides, doing it in batches if necessary. Once all chunks of meat have been browned on all sides, add them back into the IP.
- Add veggies, garlic, seasonings, canned tomatoes (smashed or pulsed to break up) and tomato paste into the IP and close the pot, sealing the lid, and making sure to close the vent. Cook at high pressure for 40 min.*
- When it’s done, you can allow to naturally release if you’re busy, or open the vent to move it along. Once the pressure has reduced, it will allow you to open the lid. Now switch to sauté setting while you shred the pork well, to help reduce the sauce just a bit. Set your timer for 15 minutes of sautéing. You can just use two forks right in the pot, or move the hunks of pork into your kitchen-aid and mix with the paddle attachment to shred. Add shredded pork back into the hot instant pot.
- Still on the “sauté” setting, add 1 cup cooking wine (or good wine if you’re into that!) and let it simmer/boil for a few minutes.
- While your ragu simmers/boils, blend the steamed cauliflower with about ½ cup beef broth, just to help it blend smoothly. Mix blended cauliflower and remaining two cups of beef broth into the ragu. Let it simmer on the sauté setting for a few more minutes so that you’ve been sautéing for a total of 10-15 minutes (IN TOTAL) by the end. Turn off IP and let it sit on warm ‘til ready to eat.
- Serve over pasta, polenta, mashed cauliflower, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash. You get it.
- *In my Instant Pot, I just push manual, and then the + button, up to 40 minutes… then let it go! It will take a while to get pressurized so you’re timer won’t begin for at least ten minutes.
- I like to keep half the ragu pure for myself, and toss half with hot pappardelle (and maybe a little butter and parmesan) for my family! An easy way to give them something extra delicious while still keeping my macros tight if I want!
- For logging purposes, search MFP (while you’re in your daily diary, ready to log your food) for “Lillie Eats and Tells Instant Pot Pork Ragu”. You’ll be able to log as many grams as you like. And I won’t judge.
- I love mine with some low-fat cottage cheese stirred in. Sounds kind of gross and diety but it acts like ricotta and it’s delish.