Pork All’Arrabbiata

The other day I read an email from New York Times Cooking, What to Cook this Weekend, by Sam Sifton, that I only occasionally read. I say occasionally, because I dislike the format of the highly-packed food and cooking info in the emails. But a photo caught my eye so I read on.

I’m probably in the minority, but I think Sam Sifton must be an arrogant man. Or maybe he’s just too smart for me, but I would bet he’s someone who likes the sound of his own voice.

According to Wikipedia, “Sam Sifton is the food editor of The New York Times, the founding editor of NYT Cooking and a columnist for The New York Times Magazine. He has also served as the national editor, the restaurant critic and the culture editor.”

Okay, so he does know a few things. But he still seems show-off to me.

Mr. Sifton has a cookbook out, called “See You on Sunday.” It’s about Sunday meals, and has high reviews. Some reviewers suggest that the book is for novice cooks, and I’d have to agree. In the chicken section, are Tuscan chicken, chicken Milanese, beer can chicken, chicken paprika, chicken Provençal, chicken Shawarma… there’s just nothing new or exceptional.

The recipe in the email that caught my attention in the NYT Cooking email, from 2-21-2020, was braised pork All’Arrabbiata, by Ali Slagle. According to the recipe’s information, “this spicy pork shoulder’s long-simmered flavor is one you’ll crave all season long.”

It’s basically pulled pork, but instead of barbecue sauce, it’s cooked in a spicy red sauce. I served it as sandwiches. Delicious.

I substituted prepared Arrabiatta sauce for the fire-roasted tomatoes listed, but a good marinara like my Marinara would work just as well.

I also didn’t use wine. See printable recipe below for original recipe.

Braised Pork All’Arrabbiata
slightly adapted

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of more than 1/4″ fat
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne chile pepper flakes
42 ounces Arrabiatta or marinara sauce

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the pork all over with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the pork shoulder and sear until browned on all sides, 8 – 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and cayenne flakes to the oil and stir to combine. Add the marinara sauce, season with salt and pepper as necessary, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Cover, then transfer to the oven and cook until the pork falls apart when prodded with a fork, 3 hours.

Working directly in the pot, use two forks to shred the meat into long, bite-sized pieces. Stir the pork into the tomato sauce until it’s evenly distributed.

This lucious pork can be served in quite a few ways. As a sauce over pasta, served over polenta, or as sandwiches, similar to how you’d serve meatball subs.


I added grated mozzarella and Parmesan to the sandwiches before heating.

I thought these were way more fun than meatball subs, personally.

On another day, I prepared polenta and served the pork on top. That was also wonderful!



By Published On: April 9th, 202040 Comments on Pork All’Arrabbiata

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. eliotthecat April 9, 2020 at 6:38 AM - Reply

    I recently heard an interview with him on Fresh Air. That pork would be very versatile. Make a good Sunday gravy! :)

    • chef mimi April 9, 2020 at 8:06 AM - Reply

      How was the interview with him? Did he seem real know it all-y?

  2. cookingwithauntjuju.com April 9, 2020 at 9:20 AM - Reply

    I use to subscribe to their recipes, but for $40.00 year I found it wasn’t worth it. This recipe sounds, and looks, really good Mimi.

    • chef mimi April 10, 2020 at 8:13 AM - Reply

      Is it that expensive? I don’t even remember signing up. Yikes! Thanks for mentioning that!

  3. Anonymous April 9, 2020 at 10:45 AM - Reply

    Looks great! Can’t wait to try it!

    • chef mimi April 9, 2020 at 2:12 PM - Reply

      It’s so good…

  4. Kim Bultman April 9, 2020 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    Mimi, I try to learn something from know-it-all chefs (including an obnoxious daytime TV “celebrity chef” who shall remain nameless, but I think we feel the same way about her!) Sometimes you need to get past the messenger to get the message — or next great meal. Looks like you succeeded! (Love your polenta option, too.)

    • chef mimi April 9, 2020 at 5:51 PM - Reply

      Good advice. But I’m still put off by know-it-all-y people. And maybe it’s the format. And maybe he has no choice in the format. But I do love this recipe, and I will be making it again.

  5. I just purchased a pork shoulder at the store, this would be perfect. Thank you.

    • chef mimi April 9, 2020 at 7:23 PM - Reply

      Oh, you’ll love it! It’s really a brilliant recipe. Much better than barbecued pull pork, but that’s just me!

  6. cookingontheweekends April 9, 2020 at 7:20 PM - Reply

    Sounds/looks incredibly hearty and delicious! I do like the NY Times Food Section, but I’m not familiar with Sam Sifton. Your “review” of him made me chuckle, though. :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi April 9, 2020 at 7:22 PM - Reply

      Well, I should probably keep my opinions to myself, but he is a public person, and one who just rubs me the wrong way. And, I could be totally wrong about him… This recipe, although not his, is really wonderful. You would love it.

  7. Healthy World Cuisine April 9, 2020 at 8:54 PM - Reply

    Mom used to make something very similar and it brings back some delicious memories. Always better the next day too. Hope you are staying well. Take care

    • chef mimi April 9, 2020 at 8:55 PM - Reply

      Oh, fantastic! I love food memories. We’re good, following the “rules!”

  8. Abbe@This is How I Cook April 9, 2020 at 10:03 PM - Reply

    Whenever it is Passover anything with bread sounds so good. And I love matzo but it’s kind of like being on a diet. The minute you can’t have something you want it. I WANT IT!

    • chef mimi April 10, 2020 at 8:14 AM - Reply

      Ain’t that the truth?!! I’ve been really proud of myself lately – I’ve been really good about not snacking. For once I’m not gaining! I’m not sure I’ve ever had matzo… but it doesn’t seem like a decent substitute for real bread! Happy Easter!

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 9, 2020 at 11:37 PM - Reply

    The rolls look so good and reminds me of lunches in Italy. Happy Easter Mimi.

    • chef mimi April 10, 2020 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      Lunch in Italy. Doesn’t that sound wonderful! Can’t wait till that can happen again!

  10. 2pots2cook April 10, 2020 at 4:14 AM - Reply

    Don’t keep your opinions to yourself, please ! They are my reason to love you so much ! It is always so much easier to connect to opened people, don’t you think ? You always know where they stand, us included, right ? And, yes, I love Pork All’Arrabbiata. Printed already I wish you have Peaceful and Happy Easter dear Mimi :-)

    • chef mimi April 10, 2020 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much, that’s so sweet. Happy Easter! I hope we can all have a wonderful Easter.

  11. Kiki April 10, 2020 at 6:15 AM - Reply

    Recipe sounds delicious, love your pics, and you NOT keeping your opinions to yourself is, I believe, one of the reasons we all like to visit here :-)

    • chef mimi April 10, 2020 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      Ha! Okay well good!!! I have been accused of being quite opinionated, but it’s not always in a negative way! Stay safe Kiki!

  12. My Little Italian Kitchen April 10, 2020 at 5:02 PM - Reply

    How delicious Mimi! I am feeling hungry now. I love arrabbiata sauce, it is really satisfying and super tasty. I wish you a lovely Easter and delicious food.. for sure it will be in your house!

    • chef mimi April 10, 2020 at 6:56 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much Alida! We’ll see how good Easter dinner is, with limited ingredients! Happy Easter!

  13. Jean April 10, 2020 at 8:30 PM - Reply

    I subscribe to those emails too and admittedly I usually end up deleting them without even having a look. I can see why this one caught your attention, though. I bet these sandwiches were delish.

    • chef mimi April 11, 2020 at 7:04 AM - Reply

      They really were good. The photo is what got me, cause I really don’t enjoy reading through the paragraphs with endless links…

  14. David Scott Allen April 11, 2020 at 8:11 AM - Reply

    The pork sounds quite good. The emails from The NYTimes also drive me crazy, I feel like I need to shout, “calm down!” when their emails come into my box. Though I much pref Sam to Melissa (I know this is not a popular opinion). She seems like the know-it-all to me, and there is zero subtlety to her recipes! Rant over. As soon as I get a pork shoulder, I am making this pork.

    • chef mimi April 11, 2020 at 8:13 AM - Reply

      Ha! I love that you have the same opinion! Now, I must have missed Melissa emails, cause I can’t place her! Maybe there’s a format prescribed by The NY Times that they must adhere to? I dunno. It’s just intense. This pork is fabulous.

  15. neil@neilshealthymeals.com April 13, 2020 at 6:58 AM - Reply

    Sigh. This looks amazing Mimi. Sadly, pork is something Lynne will not eat. So I’ll just have to stare at your lovely photos and dream instead. Hope you are keeping safe and well. Happy Easter too!

    • chef mimi April 13, 2020 at 7:23 AM - Reply

      That’s how I have to be with most everything – lamb, octopus, liver…. so I understand! It’s silly to cook for one in a family of two!

  16. Laura April 13, 2020 at 11:48 AM - Reply

    I love this idea! And always looking for new ways with a pork shoulder! Love especially the Arrabiata!

    • chef mimi April 13, 2020 at 12:45 PM - Reply

      It was a great recipe that worked so well!

  17. Karen (Back Road Journal) April 14, 2020 at 1:07 PM - Reply

    This pork sounds delicious Mimi and the sandwiches look great…way better than a meatball sub. 😊

    • chef mimi April 14, 2020 at 4:15 PM - Reply

      Thank you! They were really tasty, and I made them cheesy!

  18. Jeff the Chef April 18, 2020 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    I definitely don’t like the snootiness that goes around in some food circles. Although, I have to laugh at my own snootiness all the time. I often think the 16-year-old version of me would find the current version of me quite a snob. But in the end, good food is good food, and I’m glad you found some! I don’t get the NYT emails, but I do peruse that section of the site frequently.

    • chef mimi April 18, 2020 at 10:39 AM - Reply

      I wrote a post years ago called, I think, “On Being a Food Snob.” I wrote that I’m not snobby about people who like bad food, but I am snobby about food. And there’s a good reason for that!

  19. Angela@eatlivehappy April 19, 2020 at 9:29 PM - Reply

    This looks absolutely delicious and easy! I love that you made it into a sandwich. Over polenta sounds good too.

    • chef mimi April 20, 2020 at 7:10 AM - Reply

      You’re so right – delicious and easy. That sums it up!

  20. chefkreso April 20, 2020 at 3:15 PM - Reply

    Wow this is such a party favorite, looks so delicious and flavorful!

    • chef mimi April 20, 2020 at 4:45 PM - Reply

      It was fabulous!

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