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Italian Pulled Pork and Polenta

Karen Acunowicz's Pulled Pork & Polenta + Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu + Pressed Cubano Sandwiches
Karen Acunowicz's Pulled Pork & Polenta + Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu + Pressed Cubano Sandwiches
Cook Time:
6 hrs
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

Although this dish takes a bit of time to cook, it's really a "set it and forget it" situation. And though it's a long cooking dish, it's easy to pull together, and tastes like love and comfort.

Technique tip: Braising is the easiest way to take inexpensive proteins and turn them into amazing meals.

Swap option: Try this recipe with boneless chicken thighs.


  • One 3-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • Kosher salt
  • teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup San Marzano tomato puree
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup instant polenta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


For the pork:


Preheat oven to 275°F. Sprinkle the pork all over with 2 teaspoons salt, rosemary and pepper and rub in well with your hands. Place pork in a Dutch oven or large baking dish and pour the chicken broth, red wine and tomato puree around (not on) the meat. Cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. (You can also throw this in a slow cooker!)


Place the pork in the oven and cook, turning it every 2 hours (and remember to cover it after you turn it), until it's incredibly tender when tested with a fork and shreds easily, 5-6 hours. Remove meat from the Dutch oven to a cutting board, reserving the cooking liquid in the Dutch oven.


Use either tongs or two forks to shred the pork. Discard any large pieces of fat as you work. Add the shredded pork back to the cooking liquid.

For the polenta:

While the pulled pork is resting in the cooking liquid, start the polenta. Bring the water, olive oil and salt to a boil in a heavy bottomed pot. When the water is boiling whisk in the polenta, constantly stirring for 3-4 minutes.

To serve:

Spoon the polenta into 4 bowls and add the braised pork to the center. Top each with Parmigiano Reggiano and serve.