I tend to buy whole pork loins, beef loins, and the like, and cut them and freeze them.  Picked up on special, I can get chops and roasts for a great price. There’s always a bit at the tail that doesn’t quite work for a chop or steak.  These I put away fro stewing or braising.

I pulled about a pound of pork out of the freezer today with the intent of cooking it with our less-than-stellar home-grown tomatoes.  Something vaguely Italian to serve over polenta.

The February issue of La Cucina Italiana had quite a few polenta recipes as well as a pork ragu.  I wasn’t quite as ambitious as I would have needed to be to create any of their recipes, but it did give my lazy self a few ideas.

I started off with a really big shallot that I sauteed in a bit of olive oil.  Next went 2 cloves of chopped garlic, the pork pieces and a 4oz container of pancetta.  I browned it all a bit and then added about 8 chopped roma tomatoes and 2 chopped beefsteak tomatoes.  I lowered the heat, put a lid on it, and walked away for a couple of hours.

I came back in, shredded the pork, added a bit of S&P and some crushed red pepper.  Nothing else.  I let it simmer some more.

Meanwhile, I made the polenta.  Here, I did get an idea from the magazine.  They made one polenta dish with something called polenta taragna – a polenta and buckwheat flour combination.  I didn’t have it, but I did have buckwheat flour.  (What a surprise huh?!?)

Per the notes in the recipe, I mixed some flour with the polenta.  Their ratio is 5:1 polenta to buckwheat flour.

I made the polenta with 2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup polenta mixture, and a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper.  After cooking the required time, I stirred in some shredded Locatelli cheese with peppercorns we picked up at the shore last weekend.

I have to say it came out pretty swell.

The flavors all worked together really well.  I could have really spiced the pork to no end – my first idea this morning was a spicy BBQ’d pork – but it worked really well with the more subtle flavors.  It was actually a bit of a change from some of the dishes I’ve made in the past.

And there was enough left over to make a couple of really good sandwiches for lunch tomorrow!

The best kind of fast food.