Oh no! Not another post about "what to do with pulled pork shoulder"! But honestly, more people seem to be interested in pulled pork and pork shoulder than absolutely anything else I post, so I guess I have to keep throwing more recipes at them! In the event that you didn't stumble on this post by googling on "pulled pork" and don't know how to make it, here is a link to a post with that recipe.
The other day I made some polenta to go with wonderful Sparrow's chicken sausages, with a few leeks from the garden and some sauted elm oyster mushrooms. This was terrific, but as elm oyster mushrooms aren't widely available, I'm not posting on it. One note about the elm oyster mushrooms though; they are much more substantial and tasty than regular oyster mushrooms, and if you see them at a farm market, be sure to get some to try! If you saute them with leeks, and throw them over some polenta, you won't be sorry :-)
Since I'm always trying to figure out how to make something ahead for the week, I made a double recipe of polenta and came up with this way to use up some pulled pork I had left over from making pulled pork enchilada's and barbequed pulled pork last week. I didn't have any poblano peppers to stuff, so here is what I came up with. Readers will know that I like to put polenta in a pan, chill it and then slice and oven fry it to make other dishes. Since I had also gotten a whole box of Anaheim chilis at the Farmers Market for a buck, it seemed like a "terrine" of polenta layered with cheese, pulled pork, and roasted, chopped green chilis would be pretty looking and pretty good tasting. This recipe is a bit fiddly but worth the effort. I added a tomato sauce that I made from scratch to pour over the polenta, but you could just as easily use a high quality purchase chunky tomato sauce or, if you prefer a more southwestern flavor profile, a good salsa (I like Frontera's salsas, myself).
I always use the double boiler method for preparing polenta, because I am lazy, and it requires minimal stirring. I recommend going easy on the water for this particular recipe, as you want a stiff, sticky polenta for the terrine. If you think that using polenta for a barbeque/southwestern influenced recipe is heretical, you could always use grits or coarse masa harina in place of the polenta.
Polenta in the double boiler
1 to 1 1/4 cup of polenta
4-5 cups of boiling water
salt and pepper to taste
Put an inch or two of water in your double boiler, and bring to a boil. The Prudent Foodie does not actually own a genuine double boiler, so I just put a sauce pan of the size I want inside a bigger sauce pot or a stew pan and fire away. Put the polenta and boiling water into the top of the double boiler, and stir well. Stir it every 4 or 5 minutes until the polenta is ready, adding more water if you need it. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you start with boiling water, it should be ready in 12-15 minutes!
Pulled Pork, Green Chile and Polenta Terrine
Polenta made as above
1 - 1/2-2 cups pulled pork
1/2 - 3/4 cups of oven roasted green chiles chopped (this is what I used) or 2 small cans of diced green chiles if you don't want to roast and peel your own
2Tb olive oil or butter
1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Oil a loaf pan. I recommend a smaller pan; it will give a more terrine like appearance, but a large one is fine too. Be sure not to make the first layer too thick if you use the larger pan. Stir the olive oil or butter into your polenta, and then stir in the shredded cheese, mixing well and allowing it to melt. Pour 1/3 of the polenta into your loaf pan, and then sprinkle half of the pork and green chiles over the top of it. Pour in the second third of the polenta to make a second layer of polenta and repeat with the pork and chiles. Cover with the remaining polenta. Cover with saran wrap and chill well; at least 12-24 hours. Ideally you will weight the polenta (easist thing is to put another loaf pan full of water, or better yet those floral arrangement pebbles, or glass beads) so that the layers merge around the pork and chiles to become well joined. You can actually do this 3-4 days before you plan to eat it.
Set the oven for 400 degrees. Put a large glass baking dish with 3 or 4 Tb of olive oil or butter (I often mix them half and half) in the oven and allow it to heat up. Turn the polenta terrine out of the loaf pan and slice it into pieces 3/4 to 1 inch thick using a thin, sharp knife like a filet knife. Put about 3/4 cups flour on a large piece of waxed paper, and dredge the polenta slices in it carefully so they don't fall apart at the layer intersections. Pull out the hot baking dish a lay the polenta slices in it. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then remove, and using a spatula, carefully turn over the slices. Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes. Take out, and arrange the baked slices on a platter, pouring the sauce or salsa over it you choose. If you have some fresh cilantro to chop, you can sprinkle it on top for looks and flavor. Enjoy! Dee Dee