Become a multi-cooker master chef

Spice up your cooking routine with the Instant Pot, a favorite of Arlington-based home cook Emily Connor.

Photo by Emily Connor

I’ve made many versions of pork ragu over the years, but none are as simple, speedy and satisfying as this version for the Instant Pot. It’s a dish I turn to again and again when I want big flavor without much fuss. Since the pork ragu can be made completely in advance and reheated, it’s perfect for harried weeknights and casual dinner parties alike. —Emily Connor

1. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides.

2.  Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat olive oil until hot. Add the pork in batches, leaving space between the pieces so they’ll brown (not steam). Cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add more olive oil if the pan looks dry. Transfer the pork pieces to a plate once they’re browned.

3. Add the onion and carrot to the drippings. Season with a few pinches of salt, and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add red wine (or red wine vinegar), scraping up any browned bits on the bottom, and cook until evaporated (if using vinegar, stand back a little since the smell will be strong).

5. Add tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme. Lightly crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or use kitchen shears to cut into chunks.

6. Return pork to pot, cover and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.

7. Transfer the pork to a serving platter with a slotted spoon. Simmer the sauce on the sauté function until it thickens slightly, about 6 to 8 minutes; turn the heat off and discard the thyme sprigs. (Optional: Use a fat separator to degrease the sauce, or let it settle for about 10 minutes and spoon off the fat from the top.) Stir the lemon zest into the sauce (It’ll brighten the flavor.) and adjust the seasoning to taste.

8. Once cool enough to handle, shred the pork with two forks. Add it back to the sauce. (At this point, the pork ragu can be tightly covered and refrigerated for a day or two.)

9. Cook pappardelle according to package directions. Toss the pasta with the ragu, a bit of the pasta cooking water, as needed, and parmesan. Serve, passing more parmesan at the table.


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine (or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar)
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (San Marzano if possible), with juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • Finely grated zest from 1 lemon


  • 1 pound pappardelle
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving

(February 2018)