Slow-Cooked Pork with Syrah Reduction & Corn Polenta

Yield: 40 bite sized portions

Here is a wonderful way to prepare pork. Slow-cooked with roasted peppers (my favorite is to use Jimmy Nardello’s Italian frying peppers, but even red bells will do a great job). The cumin blends beautifully with Syrah, but still works well with lots of other wines. The pork drippings, wine and pepper create a beautiful sauce.

Pork:

  • 4-5 pound pork shoulder, boneless
  • 1 each red bell peppers, fire roasted on the grill, chopped
  • 1/2 each yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 each carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup Syrah or Pinot Noir
  • 6 each garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • To taste salt and pepper

Method:

Ask your butcher to remove the bones from the pork shoulder and to tie (or “net”) it as a roast.

Combine all the ingredients and marinate the pork “open” overnight (if you are able to remove the net) by placing it in a baking dish. Turn it a few times during the day.

The next day, place it back in the net, or leave it “as is” if you’ve left it tied.

Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Place the pork with the marinade in a baking dish. Cover the pork and roast in oven for 2 hours. Remove the cover and turn the temperature to 300 degrees and continue to cook until very tender (1 hour). The liquid should be almost evaporated by then. If needed, add a small amount of water so that it is not completely dry at the base. The pork should turn golden brown.

Remove the pork from the oven, allow to cool and “pull” the meat apart into chunks. Place the meat in a mixing bowl. Strain the pan drippings, pressing the veggies through the strainer as much as possible. Remove the excess fat from the drippings, pour over the meat and toss the two together. Cover and chill for use any time in the next few days.

The serve, warm & crisp the polenta and place some warm pulled pork on top. Drizzle with a touch of the pan juices.

Polenta:

This recipe makes a firm, yet very soft polenta.

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/4 each yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1  cup milk
  • 1 cup polenta, instant
  • ½ cup Reggiano Parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • To taste  kosher salt and white pepper
  • 1Tablespoon Extra virgin Olive oil

Directions

In medium heavy bottom pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and sweat until soft but not brown

Add milk and water and bring to boil.  Add a small amount of salt to give the water a very slight salty taste. Whisk in the polenta.  Lower heat and cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 10 – 20 minutes until the polenta is cooked. You can tell when it is cooked by tasting. It should still have a very bit of a firmness to the texture.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan, olive oil and the rest of the butter.  Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Pour into a buttered baking dish so that the mixture is ½ to ¾” high. Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator overnight to firm up. Cut any shape you’d like, remove from the baking dish and set them on a buttered or oiled baking sheet.

When ready to serve, place in a hot oven, under the broiler or on the grill to warm and crisp the outside.

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