Rating: 4.5 stars
34 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 30
  • 4 star values: 1
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Agrodolce, a generic Italian term for any type of sweet and sour condiment, really shines when used for braising chunks of succulent pork shoulder. This soul-warming comfort food is amazing served on rice, pasta, polenta, or, as seen here, a big pile of ricotta mashed potatoes. I'm not sure if Italians barbecue like we do here in the States, but the sauce very much reminded me of something we'd brush on a rack of ribs while sipping a cold beer.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
2 hrs 30 mins
2 hrs 45 mins
3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Brush a baking dish with olive oil.

  • Whisk tomato paste, vinegar, honey, mashed anchovy, green onions, garlic, rosemary, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper together in a large bowl to make the agrodolce.

  • Cut pork shoulder into roughly 3-inch pieces. Add to the bowl of agrodolce and mix by hand until coated. Transfer pork and sauce to the prepared baking dish.

  • Bake in the preheated oven, flipping pieces over halfway through, until pork is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add a splash of water if pork appears too dry. Skim off fat as desired.

Chef's Notes:

It's hard to skim rendered fat while it's still in the baking dish, so I usually remove the meat, and pour the sauce into a measuring cup or small saucepan. That way, we have much less surface area, and it'll be way easier to spoon off the top. Or you can make this ahead of time, chill overnight, and remove the hardened fat.

To make the agrodolce even more like barbecue sauce, add a little touch of smokiness, such as smoked paprika.

Nutrition Facts

199 calories; protein 13.8g; carbohydrates 6.5g; fat 12.9g; cholesterol 52.3mg; sodium 555.5mg. Full Nutrition