Pork Ragù Over Creamy Polenta
2 pounds pork tenderloin, approximately 2 tenderloins
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 shallots, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup full-bodied red wine
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
4 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
3 cups stemmed chopped Tuscan kale
1½ cups coarse polenta (not quick-cooking)
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup grated Parmesan (from about 2 ounces), plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
Season pork with salt
and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Cook pork, turning
often, until evenly browned, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour off
Wipe out any burned bits
from pot, but leave the golden-brown pieces (doing this will keep the finished
sauce from tasting bitter). Add shallot and garlic to pot and cook, stirring
occasionally, until shallot is soft and
caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally,
until slightly darkened in color, 5–8 minutes.
Add wine and cook,
scraping up any browned bits, until reduced by about half, 5–8 minutes.
Add tomatoes, crushing
with your hands as you go, then add thyme and rosemary; stir in 2 cups water.
Add pork with any juices accumulated on the platter; season with salt and
Bring liquid to a boil,
then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until pork is falling-apart
tender, sauce is thickened (it will be thicker than a typical pasta sauce), and
flavors have melded, 2½–3 hours. Remove thyme and rosemary sprigs.
Using 2 forks, shred pork.
Add kale and cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with
salt and pepper.
For the polenta, bring 6
cups salted water to a boil in a large pot. Whisking constantly, gradually add
polenta; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking often, until polenta is
tender and creamy, 20–25 minutes (if polenta becomes too thick too soon, loosen
mixture by adding more water and continue cooking). Add butter and ½ cup
Parmesan to polenta and whisk until melted; season with salt and pepper.
Spoon polenta into bowls
or onto a platter and top with pork. Add more Parmesan. Serves 6. (Adapted from
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