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Braised Pork with Creamy Polenta

This rustic Italian recipe offers a touch of comfort in every bite. Tender pork chops topped over stick-to-your-ribs polenta will soothe your soul and appetite.

 4 Ontario pork chops (about 1 1/2 lb/750 g)
 1 tsp (5 mL) each, salt and fresh cracked pepper, divided
 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, divided
 1 lb (500 g) crimini mushrooms, quartered
 4 cloves garlic, halved
 ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh chopped thyme
 1 bay leaf
 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth
 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh chopped parsley
 2 cups (500 mL) water
 2 cups (500 mL) milk
 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
 ¾ cup (175 mL) fine cornmeal
 ¼ cup (50 mL) finely grated parmesan
 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
 pinch fresh cracked pepper

Sprinkle pork with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt and pepper. Set aside.


In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium high heat. Add pork and cook just until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.


Add remaining oil to skillet. Add mushrooms, garlic and remaining salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine, thyme and bay leaf scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in chicken broth and cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid has been reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Return pork and any accumulated juices back to the pan. Cover, and reduce heat to maintain a simmer and pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over creamy polenta.


For creamy polenta: Combine water, milk and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium high heat. Whisking constantly, gradually whisk in cornmeal until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer stirring often, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir Parmesan, butter and a pinch of fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

Makes 4 servings