Braised pork shoulder with polenta seems fancy and complicated, but requires little effort; the oven does all the work of breaking down tough pork shoulder, rendering it incredibly tender and flavourful, and a pot of creamy polenta is easier than oatmeal, coming together in under five minutes.

Braised Pork Shoulder with Cheesy Polenta

  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 1-to-2 lb pork shoulder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can whole plum tomatoes (398 mL)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ¾ cup dry cornmeal
  • ½ cup grated parmesan or aged gouda, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Drizzle some oil into a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat and brown pork on all sides, sprinkling with salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes, red wine and thyme to the pan, ensuring there'senough liquid to come about ½ to ¾ of the way up the side of the meat€”if not, add a little more wine or water. Cover and braise for 3 to 4 hours, or until pork is very tender. Pull pork apart with two forks, discarding the thyme stems. If you€™d like to thicken the sauce, put it on the stovetop to simmer until the liquid reduces.

In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a simmer and whisk in cornmeal along with a big pinch of salt; cook for about 3 minutes, until cornmeal thickens. Add cheese and butter and stir to melt completely. Spoon polenta into shallow bowls and top with the saucy pork. Serve topped with grated parmesan.