We have been making pork shoulder, or in this case, pork loin in the crock pot for a while, but it took me some time to tie together the flavorful meat with warm, creamy (and sometimes, cheesy) polenta. I had first seen this done with Oso Bucco, but it only makes sense to do it with any sort of roast or stewed meat The polenta is a great starchy side and soaks up the flavorful juices of the meat.
My recipe for this dish is going to be much more vague than usual, mainly because it is simply so so easy.
Crockpot Pork Shoulder or Pork Loin
- 2 lbs pork shoulder or pork loin
- 1 cup Hard cider, beer, stock or any flavorful liquid
- Salt, Pepper and your favorite seasonings, to taste
Cook in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high (I prefer low, for a nice slow cook) until pork easily pulls apart with form.
Break pork into large chunks.
This is an almost foolproof method and lets you have dinner ready when you return from work or errands.
Polenta (Italian Cornmeal Mush) based on the Joy of Cooking
- 1 cup regular cornmeal
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tbls Butter
- 3oz Extra Sharp Chedder (or other favorite cheese)
Add salt to water. Bring water to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Bring back to boil, then lower to very low. Whisk quite frequently while it cooked until polenta creamy and no longer gritty to the tooth — around 40 mins. Once polenta is done, remove from hear and whisk in butter, cheese and black pepper.
Spoon polenta into large bowl. Spoon over pork pieces and juices from crock pot. Add side vegetables directly to the bowl, if you wish. (I added green beans to mine, but forgot them when i took the picture.
We always have polenta left over, so we prepare a ceramic baking dish with cooking spray and spoon the remaining polenta into that. After an hour, the polenta will have set. We then cut it into squares to be stored in refrigerator of freezer for quick use with other pasta sauces or meats in place of pasta.
This dish is great at any time of the year, but especially as an easy, ready-to-eat dinner on those cold winter nights. Mix up the meats you use, spices, flavorful liquids you use until you find your favorites We have tried tomato-based sauces, balsamic vinegar sauces and more. It is pretty foolproof.