On this blog, you see a lot of what I cook. When I was looking through my posts, though, I noticed something. I had yet to post some of my most common, go to, simple types of meals. Bowls of pasta and dinners consisting of meat and potatoes are, in fact, relatively common in our kitchen. I guess I feel like these standard dishes aren’t “blog worthy.” But I’m guessing that, like me, you’re not eating crazy-creative, brand new meals every night of the week. Sometimes, plain old good cooking is enough.
This is one of those types of meals. It is super simple and comes together in less than half an hour. Yet, this is a step up from the storied pork chops and apple sauce. The polenta is a novel side dish, providing a quick and cheap alternative to potatoes or rice. The cheese gives it just enough salt, and it’s very creamy having been cooked in milk. As for the pork, the balsamic reduction is sweet and makes the meat flavorful and moist. Like I said, this meal isn’t the most exciting thing you’ll see on the internet, but it’s absolutely delicious. And, for me, that’s good enough.
Herbed Balsamic Pork with Cheesy Polenta
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Bavarian Spice Rub (or, combine some dried mustard, rosemary, and thyme)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb boneless pork chops
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¾ cup corn meal
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup ricotta
- For the polenta: Bring the milk and vegetable broth to a simmer over medium low heat. When it is simmering, slowly whisk in the cornmeal and salt. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the polenta is thickened. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent clumping and burning to the bottom of the pot. Once it is cooked, stir in the parmesan and ricotta. Serve with extra freshly grated cheese. **Word of warning: The polenta will splatter as it’s cooking; be careful. It is hot. And it will burn. As in second degree kinda stuff. I speak from experience.**
- Meanwhile, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil, and reduce by half. This should take about five minutes.
- Combine garlic, spice rub, and salt/pepper to taste. Rub onto both sides of the uncooked pork. Cook pork chops in a grill pan over medium high heat, basting with the reduced balsamic. Let pork rest for a few minutes after cooking.
- Serve with remaining balsamic reduction. Note: If you were basting directly from the saucepan onto the raw meat, bring the reduction back to a boil before serving.