After going back and forth about what one of my first posts should be, I…
Pork and Polenta
I’ve had a box of polenta sitting in my cabinet for awhile now, and I’m mulling over ways to use it. Should I make something inspired by shrimp and grits? Maybe I’ll make it with a more bread-like quality. What protein do I want? Finally, something came to me. While surveying my kitchen, I noticed I olive bread from a farmer’s market had gone stale. Well, perfect for grinding into breadcrumbs! I’ve seen so many fresh vegetables on Instagram, so I decided on getting green beans. I had a thawed pork blade steak that I quickly assigned to becoming the highlight in my dish of choice, pork and polenta with creamy green beans.
If you have your own polenta recipe that you treasure, by all means use it! This is my first time making it so I’m sticking with the instant box version I have. Here’s what you’ll need:
Pork blade steak
Baked Green Beans
Stale olive bread, or breadcrumbs
Garlic – I’m using about 3 or 4 cloves because I want it strong
1 yellow onion – diced
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
Red wine vinegar
How I started
Heat oven to 350 and start warming your skillet. Drizzle with your choice of olive oil, for once I’m not using a flavored one. Mash in your desired amount of garlic; I’m using about three or four since I want it to be strong. If you’d like, toss in a little bit of butter for some extra flavor. Simmer your diced onions with the garlic and slowly splash in some red wine vinegar. I have a fantastic szzzz-le going and I’m about to add in my mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and brown. Start alternating between a squirt of tomato paste (mine’s in a tube) and a spoonful of cream of mushroom soup.
Continue this alternating until your sauce is to a consistency you’re happy with. Occasionally it becomes too thick, so I’m just adding water (also try chicken broth). Earlier I boiled and blanched my green beans, so they are ready to go now that I’m happy with the way my sauce turned out. I used my Magic Bullet to pulse pieces of bread into a nice crumbly consistency. Sprinkle those over the green been, onion, and mushroom mixture then transfer to the oven. I’m keeping an eye on them while I start the pork.
Seasoning the pork
I decided to take my pork in a sweeter direction. Typically you’ll find me reaching for the Worcestershire and soy sauce, but today I grabbed salt, pepper, and brown sugar. I’m using a coarse sea salt and shaker pepper to start the seasoning, then I rubbed a nice coating of brown sugar over the entire piece. I trimmed off some fat because it was a bit too much for me, then covered the rest of it in brown sugar to achieve a crispy, golden brown sear.
I’m so happy with the way this turned out! I kept my pan nice and hot with the perfect amount of olive oil. Try as hard as you can to only ever flip your meat once. You want to work meat as little as possible, so if you can’t do that yet practice until one flip is all it takes. After that flip, toss in rosemary, thyme, and sage. Add butter and use a spoon to start basting. My favorite part is using tongs to render the fat.
Don’t forget about the beans I checked on mine and turned the oven to a broil so I could crisp up the top. When you dish it up you’ll dive into that crunchy top to discover a creamy, savory filling. As I mentioned earlier, my polenta is from a box, but I did add in some milk, water, and a small splash of apple cider, to keep it creamy.
Anyway, when the pork is done transfer it to a surface and let it rest. I poured half of the pan juice over the pork and I dumped the remainder into the polenta. I also like to rest all my herbs on top of it before either plating or discarding them. Leave it to rest between 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your blade steak. When it’s ready, slice away!
Grab a bowl and layer it starting with the polenta, next the beans, and finally your juicy pork slices.
I would love to hear original or family polenta recipes because I want to try making it from scratch. Tag me on Instagram and follow #MyStyleFoods across social media!