Crusty Crock Pot Pork over Pumpkin Polenta
I know, crock pot and crusty don’t really go together. Well, I worked hard to create crusty, yet juicy pork from the crock pot. You know, sometimes we just need to have dinner going in the crock pot. Not only does it add a cozy comforting smell to the entire house, you know your work is practically done for the night. Little confusion, hardly any clean up. What is not to love about that?
This recipe simply…well, works! It is perfect for entertaining as well as just a cozy winter night at home. The meat actually slices instead of totally falling apart even though it is made in the crock pot. That is one of the things I love about it. The other thing that I just adore about this recipe is that you will most likely have a little left-overs. I love stuffing the pork in bell peppers along with a few cheeses, onions, and other delectable ingredients the next night.
You can cook this in the oven on 300 degrees for 6 to 7 hours, but if you work outside the home and want to have it on a weeknight, that is just not feasible. You don’t want to leave your oven on all day, or at least I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that.
I don’t really use my crock pot that often, but when I do I get on a crock pot frenzy where I use it for every meal for about 2 weeks straight. I do the same thing with my pressure cooker – but that is for another day.
Served with a salad and crusty bread, you have yourself a dinner fit for a king, queen, and the little princesses and princes if you have any. Everyone will be happy, satisfied, and thankful as you serve this amazing meal.
Crusty Crock Pot Pork over Creamy Polenta
Ingredients for the Pork
8 cloves garlic
1 Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, ribs removed, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
a few sprigs of thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly group black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 (8-10 pound) bone in pork butt with the fat
2 1/2 cups dry white wine, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
1 cup of beef broth
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Polenta
3 Seminole Pumpkins (2 cups pureèd), halved and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cup grits or polenta
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 tablespoons room temperature butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for sprinkling
1 whole nutmeg, for freshly grating
1/2 cup parsley, chopped, for garnish
In a food processor place garlic cloves, onion, pepper, chili powder, thyme leaves, salt, olive oil and apple cider vinegar and pulse until ingredients are finely chopped, not pureèd. Score the fat on the pork diagonally with a sharp knife then create cuts all over the pork about 1/2 inch deep. This will allow the rub to be infused throughout the meat.
Rub the meat all over with all the ingredients and place the pork into a large crock pot fat side up. Pour the white wine and beef broth into the bottom of the crock pot. Set the crock pot on low for 10 hours.
About an hour before serving the meat, prepare the pumpkin polenta. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. On a sheet pan, place the pumpkin flesh side down and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Remove and when pumpkins are cool enough to handle, spoon the pumpkin into a bowl and stir until smooth.
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium stockpot with the salt and pepper. Add the polenta to the boiling water and stir for about 2 minutes. Bring the water to a simmer and allow to cook stirring often. When fully cooked (about 45 minutes – about the time the pumpkins are done) and smooth, whisk in butter, cheese, and pumpkin purée. Check to correct seasonings.
Remove pork to a cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes. Distribute polenta among 4 bowls. Carve the pork and place on top of each individual bowl of polenta and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with a side salad and crusty bread.
For more recipes, check out Meal Plan Monday.