All the goodness of a slow simmered Italian meat sauce, in a fraction of the time, thanks to the Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Rosemary Pork Ragu: (12 servings)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cubed into 2” cubes
2 cups diced yellow onions, 1/4″ dice
1 cup diced carrots, 1/4″ dice
1 cup diced celery, 1/4″ dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, leaves only, discard the woody stems
1 Teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste after the cooking time
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 – 28 ounce cans whole fire roasted tomatoes, blended briefly to create a chunky tomato sauce
Cauliflower Polenta: (6-8 servings)
8 cups riced cauliflower, 1 1/2 pounds, see notes
2 Tablespoons ghee, or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup coconut milk from the can
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 Tablespoon tapioca starch, mixed with 2-3 Tablespoons water to dissolve
Optional Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Brown the cubed pork in the olive oil over medium high heat on the stove top, or using the sauté function on the Instant Pot. If you’re using the Instant Pot, you’ll need to sauté the meat in 3 batches.
Then add to the Instant Pot the onions, carrots, and celery, sauté again just until the vegetable mixture is coated in the olive oil. Finally add the garlic, rosemary, sea salt, pepper, and blended tomatoes.
Secure the lid, set the valve to sealing, and select pressure cook for 1 hour. When the cooking time is done, you can let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally or use the quick release function, (this is what I did while testing). When the pressure is fully released and the Instant Pot is safe to open, stir the sauce to break up the meat, a potato masher works really well for this.
Season to taste with sea salt and more pepper if desired. Serve immediately with your choice of sides, the Cauliflower ‘Polenta’ directions are below.
To make this in the slow cooker, brown the meat on the stove top, then add the veggies, garlic, and rosemary to the pan. Cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Then place everything for the pork ragu in a large slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is falling apart tender. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.
For the Cauliflower ‘Polenta’, sauté the riced cauliflower in the ghee or olive oil until partially translucent. Add the minced garlic, coconut milk, and sea salt. Partly cover the pan and simmer until the cauliflower is very soft. From here you can either thicken it right away with the tapioca starch, or if you’re using frozen riced cauliflower you’ll need to purée it to make it more of a polenta texture. Carefully spoon 3/4 of the cooked cauliflower mixture into a food processor and process until almost smooth.
Place the processed cauliflower mixture back into the pan with the remaining 1/4 of the mixture. Then add the tapioca mixed together with water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook just until it thickens. Season to taste with sea salt and serve.
If you make your own riced cauliflower, make sure to keep the texture as fine as possible for this recipe. I bought frozen riced cauliflower because it’s both convenient and much more affordable here, and the texture is very granular with larger pieces of cauliflower. To make it more like polenta, I just give it a whir in the food processor after it’s been simmered into softness.