By: Brady Evans
I’m not really a flower person. They don’t last. In theory, they are probably bad for the environment (The energy and packaging it takes to deliver flowers?? Growing things and killing them while only benefiting from their aesthetics?? I don’t know.) They are expensive.
However, I did gasp in delight when I came home from work on Valentine’s Day and found a beautiful bouquet of red roses on my kitchen island. Then, I gasped even bigger when I saw a second set of flowers on our kitchen table. My husband, who was eaves dropping from the other room, politely informed me that the second bouquet actually did not belong to me, but to our very good friend who had recently broken up with her boyfriend. In any case, his gesture was super sweet.
I then walked into the bedroom to change into something more comfortable (i.e. ragged jeans, a sweatshirt, and boots for horse chores) and noticed that my entire closet was torn apart. Stacks of hangers weighted with clothes were everywhere and boxes of shoes were strewn about. The closet door stood wide open and the closet was completely empty.
Yet, I jumped up and down with happiness. My love language is definitely ‘acts of service.’ So, although my husband destroyed the bedroom and the closet in the process of hanging a brand new closet rod for me, it was the BEST gift ever. As a result of his gifts, I immediately went to the kitchen and made him a bundt cake.
This meal was one we enjoyed the weekend prior to Valentine’s Day and I declared it our Valentine’s Dinner. Delicious pork ragu with homemade pasta, if anything, is worthy of a special occasion. It is rich and different from the norm. Just don’t wait until next Valentine’s to make it. Make it now!
Braised Pork Ragu (adapted from Dinner a Love Story)
- 1 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small pat butter
- 1 large (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, with juice
- 1 cup red wine
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 sprigs fresh oregano
- Freshly grated Parmesean (for serving)
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Liberally salt and pepper the pork.
- Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts.
- Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all. Remove from pan.
- Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add pork roast, tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, bring to a boil.
- Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.)
- Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir.
- Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions for serving.