Instant Pot Pork Ragu

Posted by on Apr 26, 2018 in blog, blogs, recipes

This recipe is our first official foray into the world of instant pot cooking. We may be a little behind the times in this area, but it’s for good reason. 

We had to decide for ourselves; is the instant pot worth all the hype?

There a million arguments for and against this re-invented but still old school pressure cooking device, but as busy parents our criteria was pretty specific. 

  1. Would it save us time when cooking dinner?
  2. Would it help us get dinner on the table when we have not planned/shopped/defrosted dinner?

The answer so far, is yes to both. 

The instant pot is a pressure cooker and can cook any cut of meat to tender in a very short amount of time. And it’s useful for vegetables and grains too; long cooking lentils, rice or squash can be cooked considerably faster. 

The pressure cooking function is key if you haven’t planned for dinner, forgotten to thaw the meat or soak the beans and grains. An added bonus is the saute function, which allows you to saute the aromatics or vegetables, or brown the meat directly in the Instant Pot. 

The biggest draw back? You have to learn it. People have developed entire cook books and websites to instant pot recipes because they don’t read like normal recipes. There is great emphasis on what button to push and when and how to release the valve. If you hit the door at 5:00pm and want to cook your first recipe in the instant pot…..well, I don’t suggest it. The first few recipes may feel clunky and arduous but it does save time and energy when used regularly. 

This recipe for pork ragu originally fell into the Sunday-Dinner-Only category because it took 8 hours for the pork shoulder to become tender. But using the Instant Pot cuts the cooking time down to 1 hour. For many families this still doesn’t constitute a weeknight meal, but it does make it immensely more feasible.

If you make this, let us know! We’re on facebook at Mama Jess and on Instagram @mamajessfounder. 

Instant Pot Pork Ragu
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 3 lb boneless skinless pork shoulder
  2. salt and pepper to season
  3. 2 T olive oil
  4. 1 jar Mama Jess Garden Pasta Sauce, 1 cup reserved
  5. 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  6. 1/2 cup chicken/vegetable/beef broth
  7. 1/2 cup red wine
  1. Cut the pork shoulder into 3 equal portions. Heavily season each piece with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. Set the instant pot to the saute setting and when it read 'HOT' add 2 T olive oil and wait 1 minute for the oil to heat up.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot, being careful to reserve 1 cup of MJ sauce for the noodles.
  4. Use the Pressure Cook of Manual setting to cook for 45 minutes at high pressure. When the program has finished, let it sit for 10 minutes and then manually vent to release the steam.
  5. Remove the pork pieces from the liquid and shred with two forks until it is thoroughly shredded and no large pieces remain.
  6. Skim any excess fat off the top of the cooking liquid and add two cups of the liquid to the shredded pork. Toss well.
  7. Cook your choice of noodles. Drain and toss with 1 cup of sauce, then top with the pork ragu and sprinkle with parmesan cheese or fontina cheese cubes and top with more fresh thyme leaves.
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