Spicy Minced Pork and Tomato with Wet Polenta

Didn’t take a picture, so here’s a nice one of the Alde in Suffolk from last weekend when I was sailing on it.

Was toying with either minced pork with aubergine à la Chinoise or a more Italian-oriented use of some pork mince I had defrosted. I decided upon the latter, which got a good review from Nancy and Simon.  

Had I followed my own advice (see below) about how to keep the pork moist, it would have been even better – but I was tired and in a hurry to watch Great British Bake Off. In any case, I remember it here, for future reference.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

500g pork mince

500g plain passata 

3 cloves, garlic – finely sliced

½ teaspoon, chilli flakes

handful, ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

a few sprigs of thyme (if you have some)

2 teaspoons, vinegar

½ glass, red wine

Polenta

100g fine polenta

500ml water

knob of butter

50g, grated parmesan

juice ½ lemon

4 sage leaves, finely sliced

salt and pepper

How to make:

In a frying pan, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil until hot and then fry off the pork mince in batches. DO NOT overfill the pan, or the pork mince will stew and lose all of its moisture: you want to sear and brown the mince over a high heat. Just have enough in the pan to cover the base in each batch. 

Set aside.

Wipe out the pan, and then add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and over a low heat, add the garlic and chilli flakes. Cook until the garlic is aromatic. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss in the oil. Add the thyme. Cook for a few minutes. Re-add the mince and toss in the mixture. Add the passata, the vinegar and the wine. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the volume of passata has reduced. Then season with salt and pepper.

While the tomato and pork is reducing…

Boil the water for the polenta. Allow the water to become luke warm then add to the polenta in a sauce pan. Cook on a low heat so that it is gently bubbling and stir. Keep stirring and after 10 minutes, check if it is cooked: it should be smooth and the thickness of thick custard. If it needs more water to keep the ‘wet’ texture, add some and stir in. Stir in butter, sage, parmesan and lemon juice and season with salt.

Serve two spoons of polenta on a plate with a spoonful of pork on top. 

Eaten with:

Wine and Mary Berry. 

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