For my birthday this year, my sister and brother in law took me to Lolita, Chef Michael (Dreamboat) Symon's restaurant in Cleveland. My sister had the pork ragu - one of the chef's favorites. If you know anything about Chef Symon, he's all about the pig. Anyway, I had to recreate this delicious ragu, and I decided to make it more fall by serving it over pumpkin polenta. I also added mushrooms to the ragu - which next time I'd leave out I think.
Kroger was out of canned pumpkin, but had pie pumpkins, so I roasted the pumpkin and pureed it. It was labor intensive, but good!
This is a perfect meal for a chilly autumn evening!
Pork Ragu over Pumpkin Polenta
2 thick slices of pancetta, diced
2 boneless pork chops, diced
1 yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
1 c. dry red wine
1 15 oz. can organic tomato sauce
2 sprigs fresh thyme
In a small heavy pot over medium-high, brown pancetta with diced pork. When browned, drain the fat, turn to low heat, and add onions and garlic. Sautee for 5 minutes, add red wine, reduce by half, add tomato sauce, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, turn to low, cover, and simmer for 3 hours.
Uncover, using a potato masher, gently break up a bit of the pork, still leaving some nice chunks. Add mushrooms, stir to combine, and cover. Cook for another 30 minutes. Serve over polenta.
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. milk
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. polenta
Salt and Pepper
Bring chicken stock and milk to a rolling boil, add polenta and pumpkin puree. Season with salt and pepper. Turn to low, cover, and stir every 5-10 minutes for 40 minutes (unless using instant polenta). Stir in 1/4 c. parmesan cheese right before serving.
Note: If polenta is too thick, add more stock or milk, if it is too thin, leave uncovered and cook off some of the liquid.
(the roasted pumpkin, i pureed it with a bit of water)