Slow Cooker Maple Chipotle Pork with Cheesy Polenta.
Ohhhh do I have a dinner recipe for you!
Look at this bowl of pure comfort. It’s completely giving you a hug; in fact, if you could EAT a hug, this would be it. A cozy hug in a bowl that’s bursting with ridiculously flavor. I don’t hate it one single bit.
Don’t feel weird eating a hug.
So, I’m really overdoing it on the pork lately, aren’t I? It’s all in my master plan for one slow cooker recipe, three meals (just made that up on the fly, cough cough) and I will pretend that this was entirely planned out.
It sort of was, of course.
This is the second recipe that you can use with the pulled pork I shared last week (or technically, the third recipe!) and I am loving this multi-purpose slow cooker dish. I’ve included the recipe down below for the chipotle maple pulled pork, but you can always use the smoky pulled pork leftovers from the slider recipe I just shared or the kalua pork from earlier this year. Both are SO good.
It probably doesn’t even matter since people don’t seem to read food blogs like daily diaries anymore (even though I still write as such, much to the dismay of every SEO person on the planet), but if you’re still one of those people, thanks for sticking with me through this mad pulled pork love.
It may possibly be true that I love pulled pork more than bacon at the moment. Secrets. You’re learning them all!
Okay, so want to talk about it?
First! This freaking polenta. Oh me oh my. It is so creamy and rich and delicious. Eddie loves polenta so I love making it. The hardest part is timing it so it’s perfectly smooth and creamy for when he gets home from work. Often I make it too soon and it firms up. Still delicious, but not so creamy for a huge polenta bowl.
If you’re one of those people that does not enjoy mixing their food or if you can’t have any of the foods on your dinner plate touch, then I’m going to take a wild guess that this dish isn’t for you. You could always have the pulled pork on a plate and serve the polenta on the side though, further affirming that this is quite possibly the best meal ever.
When it comes to October, football Sundays and autumn get-togethers, I often get in a chili rut. I make a lot of chili, a lot of flavors, a lot of soups – maybe even some things for chili to go on TOP of (oh hey nachos, hot dogs, French fries, sweet potatoes…). But this might be my new go-to. I may have to wing it with the polenta, but the chipotle maple pork is where it’s AT.
Also, what is with me and maple at the moment? This is the fourth recipe in a row that I’m sharing that has maple and I swear THAT was completely unintentional.
I’m a convert now – especially because of the sweet heat of this bowl. Sweet, spicy, cheese, creamy – I mean, is there even a better combo out there?!
Maple Chipotle Pork with Polenta
- 1 (4-pound) pork shoulder roast
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 chipotle pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can of chipotles
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 3/4 cup polenta (coarse grind cornmeal)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
for topping: sliced green onions, fresh cilantro, sliced radish, fresh lime wedges, extra parmesan for sprinkling
Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and cover it with the salt and pepper, turning a few times to coat. Add the minced garlic cloves, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and syrup. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. After 8 to 10 hours, the pork will easily shred with a fork. Shred it and mix with the juice in the slow cooker. I like to turn my slow cooker on high and let it sit with the lid off for 15 minutes or so - I find that if it's extra liquidy, some of the liquid will be absorbed.
30 minutes before serving the pork, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta Turn the heat down to medium low and continue to stir until the mixture thickens. Once the mixture has come together and the cornmeal is thoroughly combined, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook until the polenta is creamy and resembles the consistency of oatmeal, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. If at any time the polenta looks parched, dry or too thick, add in some extra chicken stock ¼ cup at a time. After 30 minutes, stir in the butter, cheese, salt and pepper. Taste and add more seasoning or cheese if desired.
This is TOTALLY eating color.