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

prep:
15 mins
cook:
2 hrs 30 mins
total:
2 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
Advertisement

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

    Advertisement
  • 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
Advertisement

Reviews (25)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2019
Made it exactly as the recipe and it came out wonderfully. Will definitely make it again. Read More
(8)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/30/2020
didn't knock me out Read More
29 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2019
Made it exactly as the recipe and it came out wonderfully. Will definitely make it again. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2019
Yummy! I made it just as he directed, loved it! The next day I chopped up the leftovers, added some frozen corn, and put sweet cornbread batter on top and baked it until the cornbread was cooked through. That was also amazing! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
02/24/2019
Delicious. Easy to make and the smell in the house while the pork cooks was so mouthwatering. The smokiness was intoxicating the sweet salty tastes were well flushed. I served it on polenta and drizzled the sauce over the pork and polenta. This recipe was most excellent. Read More
(2)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2019
I cooked pork tenderloin in the slow cooker and prepared the sauce separately. It came out very nicely. The sauce was fantastic. Nice work Chef John! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/29/2019
This was extremely tasty. I didn't have honey so I used molasses and I didn't have balsamic vinegar so I used white wine vinegar and it turned out very nice. I didn't want to cook it in the oven so I put it in the slow cooker and poured the sauce over it and let it slow cook for about 5 hours Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/23/2020
Really liked the flavor. Made it per recipe but served it over riced cauliflower. I made a double batch of the sauce and do recommend doing that. Also, watch your oven. At 2.5 hours mine cooked a bit longer than it should have. (And I did flip the pieces half way thru) Next time I'll check at 2 hrs. But it was still a nice dish and we'll make it again. Read More
(1)
Advertisement
Rating: 2 stars
03/30/2020
didn't knock me out Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/02/2021
Easy and delicious. Husband always complains that pork is always dry. Not this time! Served it over noodles and he loved it. So did I. A keeper Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/21/2019
I rarely make anything exactly as the recipe states as I put my family's taste and my very limited budget first. Typically I skip the videos and move on to the ingredients I don't know why I watched this particular video but I'm so happy I did! Your comments regarding the agro... Then dolce and substitutes they were perfect and spot on. Read More
Advertisement