Braised Pork all’Arrabbiata

Braised Pork all'Arrabbiata is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 150 minutes
Servings: 4

Red pepper flakes bring the heat to our spicy Italian tomato sauce, which is used to braise pork shoulder until it is meltingly tender. To add even more complexity, feel free to toss in a Parmesan cheese rind along with the tomatoes. And, if you happen to have Calabrian chiles in oil in your pantry, add a few teaspoons along with the garlic and reduce the quantity of red pepper flakes to 1/2 tsp. for even more complex flavor. Serve the braised pork on top of a mound of polenta made from semolina flour, which cooks much more quickly than the traditional version made with coarsely ground corn meal. A spoonful of tapenade made from briny green olives and capers adds bright flavor to the finished dish.

Ingredients:

For the pork:

  • 2 1/2 lb. (1.25 kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) red wine
  • 1 can (28 oz./875 g) diced plum tomatoes


For the olive tapenade:

  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. capers, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the semolina polenta:

  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (5 1/2 oz./170 g) semolina flour
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 325F (165°C).

To prepare the pork, season with pork with salt and black pepper. In a large Dutch oven over high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a glaze, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper. Return the pork to the pot, cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Braise until the pork is tender, about 2 hours. Using a large spoon, skim the fat off the sauce.

Meanwhile, prepare the olive tapenade: In a bowl, stir together the anchovy, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice, then whisk in the olive oil. Add the olives, parsley and capers and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

To prepare the semolina polenta, in a Dutch oven or a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, 2 tsp. salt and black pepper to taste and bring just to a boil. Slowly whisk in the semolina flour and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the semolina pulls away from the edges of the pot, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Divide the polenta among 4 shallow bowls and spoon the pork and sauce on top. Add a spoonful of the olive tapenade and serve. Serves 4.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious, restaurant quality dish! This is a fantastic recipe. Flavors are amazing, the olive tapenade really puts it over the edge. It's my go-to for having guests for dinner; always a huge crowd pleaser! Highly recommend!
Date published: 2019-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Meal I doubled this recipe for a small dinner party and it got rave reviews from everyone. This is a definite winner. The olive tapenade is a marvelous addition because although the pork with sauce is very flavorful the tapenade puts it over the top. My guests said they would come over anytime if I serve this dinner again!
Date published: 2018-12-11
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