Thursday, March 8, 2018

Braised Adobo Pork with Polenta

Dinner the playbook has a lot of simple, family-friendly meals that aren't boring.  The flavor of the meat, and polenta, from this recipe was great!  But next time I will the same amount of meat and double everything else (except polenta) to have more sauce.  The meal seemed a little dry, but I'll give it another try soon.

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2½-pound pork loin, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • bay leaf
  • chipotle in adobo (not the sauce, just the dripping single pepper; you can freeze the rest)
  • ½ cup cider vinegar (or store-bought vinegar-based barbecue sauce such as Shealy’s)
  • garlic cloves, halved
  • medium onion, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 cup medium or fine cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed ovenproof pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides in the hot oil, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the pork and add the tomatoes, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, chipotle, cider vinegar, garlic, onions, and ¼ cup water to the pot; it should be about two-thirds immersed in liquid. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours. (The pork should be practically falling apart when finished.)
While the pork is braising, make the polenta: Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Pour the cornmeal into the pot slowly, whisking as you go. The mixture will thicken after 2 or 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and let the mixture bubble on the stovetop for another 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and adding water if it becomes too thick for your liking. Before serving, remove the polenta from the heat and stir in the butter and Cheddar.
Remove the pork from the pot to a cutting board or platter, shred with two forks, and toss back in the braising liquid. Remove the bay leaf.
Sprinkle the cilantro over the pork and serve with the polenta.

Yumm Sauce

One of my favorite spots for a quick bite to eat when we're traveling in the Northwest is Cafe Yumm.  I have been known to ask my family members to pack bottles of their signature yumm sauce when coming for a visit!  But now I have yumm sauce whenever I want (which is pretty much always), thanks to this great knock-off recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  The flavor is unique, as you'll see in reading the ingredient list, but I've not shared it with someone yet who didn't enjoy it - or at least do a really good job pretending to!  It's great as a dip for veggies, pretzels, or chips.  It's also great on meat or as a salad dressing, and goes especially well on your version of a taco salad.  Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup avocado, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup canned Great Northern or Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt
  • Pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast


  1. For the Yumm sauce, add the oil, almonds, beans and water to a blender. Process until very smooth, 1-2 minutes (or as long as needed).
  2. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, oregano, cilantro and nutritional yeast. Process again until creamy and smooth. Add additional water to thin out the sauce, if needed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve (this tastes best after it’s had time to rest – even several days – but you can also use it right away).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...