Passion for Pork

Recipe: Gnocchi with braised pork shoulder and spicy tomato sauce

Dan Clapson - Saturday, January 31, 2015

pork gnocchi

There aren’t many things I love to eat more during the winter than gnocchi. When cooked properly, the little potato-y doughy pockets of goodness soak up whatever sauce they’re in and become little clouds of tastiness. Can you tell I get excited about gnocchi?

This slow cooker recipe is great for feeding a big group of people. Aside from leaving it to slow cook all day while at work, you can (and should) keep the leftover braising liquid for the pork and turn it into a quick sauce for the final dish. Try this one out for dinner this week, you won’t be disappointed.

What you’ll need…

5 lb boneless pork shoulder

4 tomatoes (diced)

1 yellow onion (quartered)

2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped

4 cups water

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup red wine

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp red chili flakes

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard

2 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper (to taste)

2 packages potato gnocchi

6 cups fresh greens (spinach, arugula, etc…)


Place pork shoulder and the next 8 ingredients into a slow cooker. Season generously with salt and pepper, cover and let cook until pork meat is very tender and can be pulled apart easily with a fork, approximately 4 1/2 hours.

Once pork is cooked, remove from slow cooker, place into a large bowl, cover and set aside for now.

Pour braising liquid into a medium pot and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, let cook for 10 minutes.

Add apple sauce, mustard and lemon juice to the pot and use an immersion blender to puree until very smooth.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tear pork meat into bite-size chunks and stir into sauce.

To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, add pasta and let boil until they float.

Place a large strainer in the sink, add the fresh greens to it and then pour gnocchi and hot pasta water overtop. This will wilt the greens within seconds.

Transfer gnocchi and greens to a large serving platter, top generously with braised pork and tomato sauce and serve.

Serves 5-6

Total cook time…4 hours, 45 minutes