Crispy Braised Pork with Creamy Polenta and Sweet Onion and Fennel Slaw Pork

Courtesy of Chef Michael Cappon

Crispy Braised Pork with Creamy Polenta and Sweet Onion and Fennel Slaw Pork

Crispy Braised Pork
- 1lb Pork (preferably the butt or the cheek meat) Cut into manageable sized chunks
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups Cola (preferably Coke)
- 2 cups orange juice
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1tsp cumin
- 1tsp ancho chili
- 1tsp dry mustard
- 2 whole star anise
- 2tbls Kosher Salt
Place the pork in a deep oven safe container (1 gallon or bigger) add all dry in and rub them into the pork. Then slowly pour your liquids in taking care not to rinse off your seasonings. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours ideally overnight.  Then in a 350 degree oven braise your pork for 3-4 hours until tender. Remove from oven allow to cool slightly then remove your pork from the liquid onto a baking sheet allow to cool for one hour at room temperature. Then using your hand shred the pork taking care to remove any large pieces of fat( this is much easier if done when the pork is slightly warm).

Then in a large sauté pan place one ounce of vegetable oil over med-high heat allow the oil to come to its smoke point then using a utensil place your pork in the pan slowly stirring whiling allowing the outside layer to crisp.
- 1 cup fine grain Italian polenta
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup whole milk or cream
- 1 tsp of salt

Bring your stock and salt to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Then slowly add your polenta stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent clumping. Place heat on low and stir until most of the stock is absorbed then add your cream stir in the cream and remove from heat and serve.
If you have any leftover spread the polenta on a waxed paper covered baking sheet and cool then cut and pan fry for crispy polenta cakes
Sweet onion and Fennel Slaw
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 bulb of fennel ( reserve the fronds)
- 2 Scallions
- 1 Lime Juiced
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup Pedro Ximenez sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt to tasted
Julianne the onion and fennel either by hand or using a mandolin, finely chop the scallions  and then with your reserved fronds pick off the leafy part ( with will look like dill) place all the items in a mixing bowl  and add all your liquids and slat and then mix. Allow an hour or more for marinating at room temperature then serve.  

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