Friday, October 23, 2009

Pork & Veggie Stew with Creamy Polenta

  1. For Stew:
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch chunks
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 large fennel bulb, finely diced
  6. 1 small Walla Walla sweet onion, finely diced
  7. 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
  8. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  9. 2 teaspoons mild chile powder
  10. 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  11. Pinch of dried oregano
  12. 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  13. 1 cup 1/2-inch-diced carrots
  14. Two 6-ounce red potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
  15. One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  16. 1 pound tomatillos—husked, rinsed and cut into 1-inch dice
  17. For Creamy Polenta:
  18. 1 3/4 cups dried polenta
  19. 1 1/2 quarts water
  20. 1 tablespoon sea salt
  21. 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  22. 1/2 cup half & half or heavy cream
  23. For Garnish:
  24. Manchego cheese, thinly sliced


  1. In a medium casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add the fennel and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the diced chile, garlic, chile powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and tomatillos, cover and simmer over low heat until the pork is cooked through, at least 25 minutes. This can be left on the stove for up to 1 hour before serving.*
  2. While stew is cooking, prepare polenta. Bring salted water to boil over high heat. Slowly stir in polenta. Lower heat to medium-low while stirring. Cook over medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring continuously. Add cream cheese and half & half or cream while still stirring. Adjust seasoning (salt & pepper, if desired) and bring heat down to low. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place about 1/2 cup polenta in bottom of bowl. Cover with stew. Garnish with Manchego. Find a cozy spot to curl up and eat~ or sit with the family at the dining room table :-) Enjoy! *This is even tastier when reheated the next day since the flavors have all been able to meld!! Just reheat and serve~ the stew can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

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