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Mac n Cheese Cups with Pork Shoulder Ragu

Course: Appetizer or Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Hip Foodie Mom


  • For Mac n Cheese Cups:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Ritz crackers crushed (I placed all the crackers in a big ziploc bag and used a meat tenderizer)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese grated and divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 4 and 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni about 8 ounces uncooked
  • One 5.2-ounce container of Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese or The Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb spreadable cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cold
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes optional; for a little heat
  • Parsley for garnish
  • For Pork Shoulder Ragu:
  • 2 to 2 1/2- pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion; chopped
  • 1 garlic clove; minced
  • 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes or diced with juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • Small handful of fennel seeds optional
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce for smokiness (optional)


  • For Mac n Cheese Cups:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Generously spray 8 cups of your muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and the melted butter, mixing well until the mixture holds together and resembles coarse sand. Divide the mixture among the 8 muffin cups and, using your fingers, press the crust firmly into the bottoms and up the sides of each muffin cup.
  • In another large bowl, combine the cooked (and still hot) macaroni with 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar, the garlic & herb cheese, and the butter. Mix well.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) and mix well. Add the egg/milk mixture to the cooked macaroni, mixing until all of the ingredients are melted and smoothly combined. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the macaroni mixture into each muffin cup.
  • Top each muffin cup with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake the mac and cheese cups until lightly golden on top, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from the muffin pan. Use a fork to gently remove from the muffin pan.
  • For Pork Shoulder Ragu:
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.
  • Add the onions and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel and hot sauce (if using) and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. If you are cooking less pork (only 1 pound or 1.5), you only need to braise for 2 hours. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. I recommend adding more tomato sauce if you need to. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to the pot and stir.
  • Top your mac n' cheese cups with some pork shoulder ragù and top with fresh parsley. Serve while still hot.