Pork Rib Tip Ragu over Polenta (slow cooker)
The original idea came from Williams-Sonoma's rustic italian cookbook. But I wanted to cut down the 3 hours stove time using the slow cooker and swap out the spare ribs for cheaper rib tips.
Purchased naturally raised "pork rib tips" for $1.99 a pound! What a bargain compared to even pork shoulder ($4.99 a pound) or dare say the more expensive cuts.
Place 1.5-3 pounds pork rib tips in slow cooker. Cut if you have to to fit them in the cooker, but otherwise don't bother cutting into pieces (lots of membrane and random bones make it hard anyway).
Sprinkle liberally with salt. Do not add liquid (these will ooze their own liquids so you don't have to add anything else).
Cook on low until meat is tender - 5 hours in my relatively new slow cooker. (If you have an older slow cooker it might take longer, like 8 hours?). Transfer to a container or plate (you can put in the fridge and finish prepping the ragu later if need be).
When you are ready to prep the sauce, finely dice:
1 stalk celery
1 large white or yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
Saute the diced veggies in butter, olive oil or pork fat until soft. Deglaze pan with 1/2 C white or red wine.
Add 1-3 cups of diced tomatoes (I used two pint jars of home canned tomatoes) and bay leaves, stir to combine. Simmer the sauce until soft. I used a blender to smooth out part of the sauce and left the other half with little bit of texture.
Shred the cooked pork meat and discard the bones and fatty membranes. Add the meat to the sauce and stir. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
Warm through, then serve over fluffy soft polenta. Or serve over pasta noodles.