Day Fifteen: Pulled Pork with Greens and Polenta

19 Dec

This post is about 1 week late – I’ve been a little lazy in posting. My mind has been elsewhere these days, getting ready for the holidays I guess.

This past April, Christian accompanied me on a work-related trip to New Orleans. The food there is rather fantastic, and as always, there wasn’t one bad meal. Cochon, Coquette, and Meauxbar all served up memorable meals for us. While reminiscing about the trip and what we ate, I became inspired by the flavors we experienced. However I wasn’t sure now was the time to play with these thoughts…..until we got the new CSA box delivery that included some great braising greens.

This recipe was just something I threw together that reminded me of a lot of what we ate on the trip. It was delicious and so easy. Every once in a while, I like to venture from the typical ketchup-based bbq. Pork goes so well with mustard sauces, doing this was a no-brainer. This one was tangy with just the right amount of sweetness. You could definitely add more heat, but we liked it as is. The greens tasted great, full of flavor and still had a bit of crunch – not soggy, braised greens. And the crisped up polenta on the bottom added another welcome texture. While soft polenta or grits are great, I’m not always in the mood for mush. The polenta itself was simple from a flavor perspective, and served as a nice base for the more bold flavors of the greens and the pork. Nothing overpowered anything else – it all just worked together, kind of like a pork symphony.

One unintentional result of the dish was that, because of the chard in the mix, all the onions and the braising liquid turned pink. It just made for some pretty onions on the plate.

If you happen to have leftover polenta, the recipe just got even easier for you. The recipe for polenta below will yield more than you need for this recipe too.

Also, a note about the greens. The bag we received had really small leaves that didn’t need chopping. There were also no thick, tough stems to deal with. If you don’t have tender greens like that, be sure to remove the tough parts of the stems and if they are large leaves, chop them up. A lot of recipes will have you cook them in boiling water for a few minutes first. I didn’t feel the need to do this, based on what we got, but by all means, do it if you want. To me, it was just another step that I didn’t want to deal with.

Being that this is the last pork post of 2010, I was relieved it turned out so well. Glad we went out with a bang. Although, it puts on the pressure for the first post of 2011. Definitely will want to start out 2011 on the right foot. So with that, to anyone that is reading this, I hope you have a happy holiday season!!

Pulled Pork with Braised Greens and Polenta

  • leftover pulled pork
  • 1 cup mustard
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cups polenta
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 lb braising greens
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To make the mustard bbq sauce, mix the mustard through cayenne pepper in a small saucepan. Simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat. Set aside.

Boil the water and salt in a saucepan and slowly whisk in the polenta. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken and pull away from the sides, about 15 minutes. Oil (or spray with non-stick spray) a baking dish and spread the polenta evenly. Let cool, and then put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to firm up.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat renders and the bacon begins to crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside to drain on a paper towel. Add the onion to the pan and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the braising greens, chicken stock and bacon. Cook on low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes. When done, add the cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, set aside about 1/2 of the mustard sauce. Add the leftover pork to the sauce that is left in the pan, cover and reheat over low heat.

When the polenta is firmed up, flip the baking pan over to release the polenta, and cut into triangles. Based on the size of the pan I used, we got 4 large triangles. Preheat the broiler on high. Brush the polenta with oil and place in the oven; broil until the surface becomes browned and crisped.

Put one triangle of polenta on a dish. Top with the greens and then the pulled pork. Drizzle extra mustard sauce over and serve.


One Response to “Day Fifteen: Pulled Pork with Greens and Polenta”

  1. Babygirl December 19, 2010 at 10:33 PM #

    Wonderful recipe

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