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Ragout of Pork & Prunes

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
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Active Time:  1 Hour 15 Minutes
Total Time:  3 Hours
  10 servings, about 2/3 cup each
Pork shoulder is an inexpensive and juicy cut that lends itself to roasting, grilling and braising. Here it’s paired with prunes, which is a natural marriage of flavors, but you can also use butternut squash combined with a few dried apricots. Serve with polenta and roasted carrots.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6; let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Finish with Step 7 just before serving.
4 pounds  boneless pork shoulder (picnic or Boston-butt), trimmed and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon  salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons  canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon  butter
1 cup  minced shallots (5-6 large)
2 teaspoons  grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon  brown sugar
1/4 cup  sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon  dry thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 1/2 cups  reduced-sodium beef broth
2 cups  large pitted prunes
1 cup  tawny port (see Note)
2 tablespoons  water
2 teaspoons  cornstarch

Note: Port is a sweet fortified wine that provides depth of flavor in cooking. Tawny port is aged in oak, turning it brown (as opposed to dark-red ruby port). Look for it in your wine or liquor store.
Ragout of Pork & Prunes Recipe at
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Season pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large, heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork in batches (do not crowd the pot) and cook until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Remove to a large plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add shallots and ginger and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, vinegar and thyme. Bring to a simmer and immediately add broth. Return the pork to the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, uncover and let stand for about 15 minutes.

While the stew stands, combine prunes and port in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Skim or blot any visible fat from the stew. Stir in the prunes and port. Return the pot to the stove and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Transfer the pork and prunes to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Return the sauce to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture a little at a time, stirring and adding more as needed, until the sauce just coats the spoon. Stir the pork, prunes and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into the sauce and heat through, about 1 minute.

Recipe reprinted by permission of © EatingWell Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 03/01/2009
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Thrifty Servings: One-Dish Meals Under $3
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   10 servings, about 2/3 cup each
Calories: 388
Fat. Total: 15g
Protein: 29g
Carbohydrates, Total: 26g
Fat, Saturated: 5g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 100mg
Sodium: 338mg
% Cal. from Fat: 35%
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