I was in North Carolina for 3 weeks and I didn’t cook a thing.  Sometimes, it was heavenly, like when I would walk downstairs and my parents would have dinner just waiting for me (you hear that, Martin?!).  Other times, it was sad, like when I wanted nothing more in the world than freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and we had no brown sugar.   No.Brown.Sugar!  Not a drop!

So suffice to say, I’ve been on a bit of a cooking binge the past week or so.  And I am here to tell you about one thing I made, which is “braised pork,” as the title aptly tells you.  It got rave reviews and I noticed it was made by the newest of the Food Network stars, Melissa d’Arabian, so I thought I would try it out.

Actually, when I impulsively bought a pork shoulder from the grocery store, I was thinking of maybe pulled barbecue pork sandwiches or something like that. Then I started researching and wow – lots of people want you to use smokers.  I gots no smoker.  I don’t even own a grill!  😦  No happy summertime cookouts for me, no siree.

But don’t cry for me.  I had a pork shoulder!  And a plan on making fall-apart-tender pork in a tomato-wine-veggie sauce.

And that is exactly what it made.  I served it with a cheesy soft polenta that I found in my new cookbook, The Joy of Cooking (thanks, Jordan!).  I will say that 1/2 cup of cheese is not enough to flavor the polenta (I don’t care what they say!).  And that soft polenta is delicious.

After cooking, I strained out some of the copious amounts of fat from the sauce and then I added a bit of starch to the sauce and thickened it up and poured it on top of the polenta (yummy!).  The pork was appropriately fork-tender and pulled apart easily when cut.  Overall, I very much enjoyed it.  Without the sauce, however, it’s very dry so make sure to have sauce!  However, I will also say that based on the reviews, I thought this recipe would change my life.  But it didn’t.  It was a very solid dish, but not one of my all-time favorites.

We had too much leftover and the next time we ate it, I served it with a new side, scalloped potatoes, also from The Joy of Cooking. I have tried better scalloped potato recipes.

PS.  Pork – is that considered red meat or white meat?  Confusing!