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!