Slow-Cooker Pork Arrabbiata with Creamy Polenta – Recipe! Image 1
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Slow-Cooker Pork Arrabbiata with Creamy Polenta – Recipe!

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Thanks for your patience the last few days, I’ve had server problems and thanks to my husband, everything seems to be up and working again.  I love spicy food as much as the next guy, and an Italian dish called Sugo all’ Arrabbiata is one of my favorites.  This tomato based sauce is loaded with chilies to give it just the right amount of heat, and is normally served vegetarian-style over pasta, but I thought by adding it to a pork shoulder in the slow-cooker, it would be magnificent, with the porky flavors melting into the scalding liquid.  Turns out, I was right, it’s so delightful and loaded with bright meaty goodness, that it’s probably one of the best tasting meals I’ve had in a while.

Using the slow-cooker during these upcoming months controls the heat in your kitchen because you don’t have to turn on the oven and cooking a pork shoulder low and slow just happens to be the best method for such a cut, because it braises in the sauce and becomes super tender during this process.  Pork shoulder is a marbled meat, which means it has a lot of flavor due to the fat content.  I know that may scare a few of you, but actually, most of it melts away as it cooks and you can skim it off the top of the sauce before serving.

I prefer a creamy polenta with this hardy dish because it can hold up to the chunks of meat.  Polenta is made on the stove top and stirred until golden perfection.  I added a bit of cream cheese to the mix, so this polenta would be even creamier than traditional, and irresistible.  The cooking process of this entire meal doesn’t take much active time because most of the work is done by the slow-cooker.  A perfect way to begin the weekend.  Don’t you think?!

Slow-Cooker Pork Arrabbiata with Creamy Polenta – Recipe! Image 2



4 pound bone-in pork shoulder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoons red chili flakes


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 white onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon red chili flakes

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1 quart chicken broth

1 1/2 cups polenta or coarse grits

4 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

fresh soft herbs for top, optional

(Serves 8)

Slow-Cooker Pork Arrabbiata with Creamy Polenta – Recipe! Image 3

Slow-Cooker Pork Arrabbiata with Creamy Polenta – Recipe! Image 4

Slow-Cooker Pork Arrabbiata with Creamy Polenta – Recipe! Image 5

To Prepare:

  1. Unwrap pork and pat dry with paper towels.  Add all spices to a small bowl and stir.  Rub on all sides of pork and place in a casserole dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
  2. Remove pork from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.  In a slow cooker insert or large pot, add oil and place over medium-high heat.  After 2 minutes, add pork and sear on all sides until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add onions and garlic around sides of pork and stir.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes, chili flakes, salt and pepper, stir.  Remove insert from heat and place in slow-cooker.  Cook on high for 6 1/2 hours.
  4. 20 minutes before pork is done, add chicken broth and 1 cup of water to a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat.  When boiling, whisk in polenta slowly, until incorporated.  Turn heat to medium and allow polenta to boil slowly, whisking often.  Cook for 15 minutes and add cream cheese, stir until creamy.  Add cream, salt and pepper and stir.  Place over low simmer to keep warm, while you prepare the sauce.  *Add more water to thin, if necessary before serving.
  5. Remove pork from slow-cooker with spatula.  Remove any fat layer and bone.  Using a large spoon, skim off excess oil from top of sauce.  Shred pork with two forks, leaving it in large shredded chunks.  Add shredded pork back to the sauce and stir to combine flavors.
  6. Spoon polenta onto a serving platter and ladle pork sugo over top.  Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve hot.  Enjoy!



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