Receipe test: Joe Sponzo’s Tuscan Pork Stew with Polenta


I’ve been utilizing Eat Your Books a bit more these days as they’ve got an increasing number of cookbooks indexed, compared to when I first signed up with the site 2+ years ago. I find myself especially cooking a lot more recipes from my pile of Food & Wine magazines (and yearly collections) as otherwise it’s nearly impossible to browse through them all and find the right recipe at the right time.

One such “right recipe” that I happened upon this past week was a Tuscan Pork Stew with Polenta by Chef Joe Sponzo. It might be some time before the sweetie and I can afford a vacation to (or wedding at!) Il Palagio, but in the meantime it’s nice to try out some of the food enjoyed at the estate, such as this dish. It was a fair amount of work but the end result was well worth it.

I ended up marinating my pork for almost two days in the red wine, fresh herbs and vegetables. (Of course, as always this was beautiful stew pork from my mother’s pastured pigs.)

Marinated pork

After rinsing off the marinade, the pork is simmered in water for about 10 minutes, then drained and dried off.

pork in water

Meanwhile I got my veggies chopped and ready.

chopped veggies for stew

Time to brown everything in some olive oil…

Browning the pork and vegetables

In goes more wine, tomato paste and stock to simmer for almost two hours.

Simmering pork stew

The end result on top of polenta? Delicious.

Tuscan Pork Stew with Polenta

This dish might not be one I’ll make on a regular basis because of the amount of work and time involved, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the next time I have some pork stew meat to use up. I think it would be a wonderful dinner party meal as well, so perhaps I’ll do it up in advance for my next Christmas party.

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