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Pork Shank Ragu

Pork Shank Ragu 

2 tablespoons olive oil

6-8 pork shanks

Salt and pepper

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup beef stock or broth

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, lightly cut-up

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 lb. box Rigatoni pasta 

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot.  Season both sides of the pork shanks with salt and pepper.  When oil is hot, add the shanks, in batches, searing on both sides until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer the shanks to a plate and set aside.  

Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Add the onion, carrot, and garlic along with a little more salt.  Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the beef stock or broth and increase the heat to medium-high.  Bring to a boil and let cook about 5 minutes, then,  stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes.  

To a large slow cooker, add the pork shanks to the bottom of the cooker.  Pour the Ragu sauce over the shanks and cover.  Cook on low 6-8 hours.  Remove the pork shanks from the sauce to a bowl, and let cool slightly.  Pull the meat from the shanks and shred, then, add it back to the pot.  Shred any meat in the slow cooker as well.  Adjust the sauce for taste, adding salt and pepper, and more herbs if necessary.  

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain.  Ladle pork Ragu sauce over noodles and serve.   

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