A couple weeks ago, my friends and I went to Lil Frankie’s in the East Village. We ordered salad, pizza, pasta, and beer for the table so we could get a taste of everything. The special pasta for the day was a braised pork shoulder ragu with gnocchi, easily the best dish of the night.
About a week later, I promised to remake the ragu that we’d shared at dinner. With 13 of us, there was really only enough for everyone to have one bite–it was so delicious that we all wished we each could have our own plate of the ragu.
In my quest to replicate the dish, I looked at several recipes for pork ragu–some required that I roast a whole pork shoulder before adding it to sauce while others were much simpler, requiring nothing more than sauteeing carrots and onions and one round of browning the meat in the braising pan before adding stock and tomatoes to cover.
I picked a recipe that I thought would have more depth of flavor, one that involved an overnight marinade and essentially two rounds of cooking the meat down: the first was a vigorous reduction of the wine marinade until it evaporated while the second was a slow simmer in sauce and broth.
Click here for the recipe from Gradisca in Manhattan.
Note: I was making ragu for a party of 12, so it took me about 3 times the cooking time.