If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home.
'Pork' on Serious Eats
Tender Italian-American meatballs made with beef and pork and flavored with garlic, buttermilk, and Parmesan cheese in a meaty, slow-cooked sauce. Your slow-cooker takes care of the tomato sauce, reducing it into a rich, meaty gravy.
We all know about lasagna Bolognese, the Northern Italian casserole made with fresh pasta layered with cheese sauce and a slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with cream. But what if I told you that there was another lasagna out there every bit as decadent, involved, rib-sticking, and delicious? I introduce to you Lasagna Napoletana, a lasagna that comes stuffed with an insanely meaty and savory red sauce, small tender-crisp meatballs, slices of sausage, and not one, not two, not even three, but four types of cheese. Are you ready to have your gut busted and your mind blown? Let's go.
The dressing for this salad fires on all cylinders with big bursts of hot, acidic, sweet, and savory elements all in balance. The dressing coats crisp fried pork rinds, softening them up slightly, and making them taste almost bright and refreshing when coupled with plenty of fresh herbs and bean sprouts.
What is the perfect meatball? For me, it's a plump, juicy ball of highly seasoned meat that's so tender a spoon can pass right through it with almost no resistance. Here's how I make that a reality.
Slow-cooked until meltingly tender, pork shoulder is braised in fragrant mix of sautéed fennel and onions, crushed tomatoes, Mediterranean herbs, and white wine. Once your slow cooker has 10 hours to work its magic, the pulled meat tops pasta, and the sauce is spooned on top. Add final shower of Parmesan, and you're golden.
When it comes to meat sauces, ragù Bolognese is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. To arrive at this version, I started with Barbara Lynch's great recipe, adding a few tweaks here and there to enhance meatiness and texture (hello pancetta, gelatin, and fish sauce!), and employing a unique oven-based cooking technique that develops rich browned flavors all while maintaining the tender, silky texture that the best sauces have. This is the kind of sauce that will leave you and your loved ones weak in the knees.
Swedish meatballs, stars of 1960s-era cocktail parties and IKEA shopping trips, are, on the surface, pretty simple: a mix of pork and beef that's lightly spiced and served with a rich gravy. Getting them just right, though, requires some fine-tuned tinkering. Here's our ultimate version, as good on a plate with buttery potatoes and lingonberry jam as speared on a toothpick.
What's better than spareribs? How about Filipino deep-fried spareribs. First marinated with garlic and vinegar, then deep fried until browned and crisp, they're an addictive plate of pork.
This easy black eyed pea stew starts with andouille sausage and pork belly cooked until browned and crisped, then gets flavored with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine: onions, celery, and green bell peppers, along with some leeks and garlic for extra flavor. Tender braised kale transform this into a full-on meal, while a shot of apple cider vinegar brightens up all the flavors.
This shepherd's pie-inspired meatloaf is stuffed with a mixture of carrots and peas. Then it's slathered with Parmesan potatoes, dotted with butter and baked in the oven until browned. Meanwhile, a quick Stilton cheese sauce simmers on the stove, waiting to be served alongside.
The first time I had cassoulet in its home turf it was a revelation. This loose, almost soup-like stew of beans and meat was so far removed from all versions of cassoulet I'd had in the United States, or even in other parts of France. It was a large, bubbling vat of beans and meat, covered in a crust so dark that it was almost black. Rich, meaty, and overwhelmingly simple, the main flavor was just that of the cured meat, a good stock, and beans.
Inspired by a campfire hamburger tradition, this unusual take on meatloaf is loaded with onions, garlic, pickles, and mushrooms, then topped with a rich beer-cheese sauce.
Roasted in the oven and basted with beer, these German-style pork sausages turn out juicy, tender, and lightly browned all over. Quick-pickled peppers and onions, meanwhile, add a flavorful, bright counterpoint.
Containing a mix of light and dark meat, country-style pork ribs braise well, yielding tender meat that both flavors and absorbs the liquid they cook in. With that in mind, I built mine from rustically cut nubs of carrot, celery, onion and garlic, plus burnished tomato paste -- prepped in the same Dutch oven that's used to brown the pork. Then, the pan is deglazed with white wine, cider vinegar, chicken stock and apple cider and spiked with Dijon mustard and aromatics. After a time spent in a low oven, the whole shebang is served atop creamy mashed potatoes.
Assertively seasoned with garlic, oregano, pepper, and enough salt to form a crust, pernil—a Puerto Rican mainstay—lingers in the slow cooker for 18 hours until browned and fork-tender. It's served with vinegar-based pique criollo, a hot sauce made with peppers, garlic, pineapple and herbs.
Crispy bits of slow-cooked pork, ready to cradle in a warm tortilla—carnitas is rightfully one of the best-loved taco fillings out there. In Tacolicious, Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave go a fairly traditional route for their carnitas: Fatty pork shoulder gets marinated overnight, then slow-cooked stovetop in the marinade and lard, after which it's pan-fried until delectably crisp.
There are too many great meat dishes in the Korean canon to pick a favorite, but this one of stir-fried marinated pork with kimchi is definitely in my top five. Easy to make, it features thin strips of pork shoulder in a spicy-sweet blend of Korean chili paste, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil—plus a bit of Asian pear for both flavor and its tenderizing effect on the meat.
This ain't your grandma's pork larb. Unless your grandma happens to be of Lanna descent and native to Northern Thailand, in which case, this is probably very much like your grandma's pork larb. Unlike Isan larb, this is a darker mince, with tender bits of lean pork mixed together with chunks of fat, chewy bits of intestine, and a rich, thick sauce flavored with crushed spices and pork blood. It's not larb for the faint of heart, but it's one worth seeking out or cooking at home if you've got any interest in offal.
After years of learning convoluted tricks for making competition-worthy pork ribs, I've realized the ribs I like best are made more simply and have bolder flavors, like the earthy, spicy rub and fruity, smoky apricot sauce in this killer recipe.