Slow Cooker Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta

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So, this braised pork situation is a total dream. It has tons of fall-time flavor, a little tartness from sour cherries, a bit of boozy twang, plus it’s nestled atop a warm, creamy puddle of cheesy polenta. It’s celebratory, even, and what do you know? I made it to celebrate the wonderful Jessica in honor of her and her sweet little babe who is due in just weeks! I am SO excited for Jessica, I can barely handle it. Bev and Ashley so kindly organized this mega-virtual-baby-shower deal and there are a TON of bloggers making all kinds of “trashed-up” fare all in the name of one of our favorite bloggers around. I mean, Jessica is a recipe-making-machine and an endless inspiration…plus she is so sweet and fun…that it’s only natural that so many of her imaginary internet friends would want to celebrate her upcoming mama-hood together.

I’ve had this recipe idea swimming around in my brains since well before the crispy fall leaves started to hit the ground and I knew it’d be the perfect dish to make for this event. I mean, it has booze, but it’s cooked booze and mama-friendly. Plus it contains sour cherries–the pride and joy of Michigan, which if you read Jessica’s blog you know that she has a special place in here heart for the mitten-state. And, there’s a cheesy polenta bed for it to rest on…because, I mean…cheese ya’ll. AND, it’s a slow cooker recipe, so the hands-on time is minimal.

Anyway, huge-mega-watt CONGRATS to Jessica and Eddie and that sweet little baby!! I cannot wait to see and hear and read all about this new little person and see where motherhood takes you, Jessica. It’s truly amazing and wonderful and amazing and life-changing and awesome…did I say amazing? Well, it is.

Be sure to check out the massive amount of crazy-delicious recipes contributed by so many other amazing bloggers in Baby How Sweet’s honor! Seriously, this is my kind of party.

How Sweet Final Graphic

trashed up salads

  1. Gimme Some Oven – Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce
  2. The Lemon Bowl – Brussels Slaw with Tahini Dressing and Za’atar Crostini
  3. With Style & Grace – Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & Bacon

trashed up cocktails

  1. Dine & Dish – Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail
  2. Food For My Family – Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cocktail
  3. Minimalist Baker – Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshakes
  4. Stylish, Stealthy & (sometimes) Healthy – Apple Cider Shandy
  5. A Spicy Perspective – Preggy Punch Mocktail
  6. Girl vs. Dough – Boozy Maple Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake
  7. Honestly Yum – Maple Bacon Pisco Sour
  8. Cookin Canuck – Pink Grapefruit Margaritas
  9. A Thought For Food – Mezcal Citrico Cocktail
  10. A House in the Hills – Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer
  11. The Novice Chef – Ginger Bourbon Apple Cider
  12. Bran Appetit – Citrus Cider Punch Floats

trashed up burgers

  1. Edible Perspective – Meatloaf Veggie Burgers with Mashed Potatoes + Gravy
  2. The Little Kitchen – Salmon BLT Sliders with an Avocado Aioli & Brie
  3. Daisy At Home – Balsamic Beef Burger with Mac and Cheese
  4. Cookies & Cups – Candied Bacon Maple Cheddar Burger
  5. Climbing Grier Mountain – Trashed-Up Steak Burger with Chicken Fried Bacon & Dijon Gravy
  6. Dessert For Two – Bleu Cheese Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries
  7. Country Clever – Fig Rosemary Roast Chicken Brie Brussels Sprout Panini
  8. Foodie Crush – The Best Cheeseburger Soup
  9. Lady and Pups – Spicy Sambal Chicken Meatball Sub with Eggs
  10. Two Peas & Their Pod – Sweet Potato and Kale Grilled Cheese
  11. Bake Your Day – Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

trashed up tacos

  1. Spoon Fork Bacon – Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos
  2. The Fauxmartha – Boozy Beef and Butternut Tacos
  3. With Food + Love – Harvest Hash Breakfast Tacos
  4. Mountain Mama Cooks – Crispy Kale and Brussels Sprout Tacos with Bacon
  5. Heather Christo – Bahn Mi Tacos with Spicy Sriracha Honey Sauce
  6. A Couple Cooks – Loaded Huevos Rancheros Tacos
  7. Fitnessista – San Diego Lobster Street Tacos

trashed up desserts

  1. Table for Two – Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, and Brown Butter Shortbread Bars with Sprinkles
  2. My Name is Yeh – Mini Vanilla Loaf Cakes, All Trashed Up
  3. Picky Palate – Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Sprinkle Cupcakes
  4. Sprinkle Bakes – Cake Batter Confetti Cupcakes
  5. Averie Cooks – Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
  6. Sweet Phi – Trashed Up Shortbread Cookie Bars
  7. Love & Olive Oil – Loaded Junk Food Brownies
  8. Lauren’s Latest – Bakery Sugar Cookies
  9. Cookie + Kate – Peanut Butter, Banana, Honey and Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
  10. Flourishing Foodie – Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
  11. The Sugar Hit – Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream Cake
  12. Hummingbird High – Breakfast Cereal Cake Donuts
  13. Top With Cinnamon – Triple Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake
  14. Bake at 350 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sundaes
  15. Simple Bites – Lemon Layer Cake
  16. Bakerella – Baby Block Cake Pops
  17. She Wears Many Hats –  Chocolate Covered Grapefruit

trashed up pizza

  1. Bev Cooks – Beer Battered Fried Calamari Pizza
  2. Rachel Cooks – Apple and Chicken Sausage Pizza with Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Crust
  3. Foodie With Family – Trashed Up Barbecue Turkey Pizza
  4. Shutterbean – Pesto Potato Bacon Pizza
  5. i am a food blog – Grilled Cheese Pizza
  6. My Life as a Mrs – Chili Cheese Dog Pizza
  7. Simply Scratch – Steak + Blue Cheese Pizza with Crispy Fried Shallots and Honey Balsamic Drizzle
  8. The Beeroness – Beer Cheese Tater Tot Pizza
  9. Yes I Want Cake – Roasted Pumpkin Pizza
  10. Two Red Bowls – Bacon Mashed Potato Pizza
  11. Dula Notes – Pork Bahn Mi Pizza
  12. Weelicious – Trashed Up Mexican Pizza Pockets
  13. Take a Megabite – Roasted Beet Pizza
  14. Hungry Girl Por Vida – Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta
  15. Bakers Royale – Trash’d Street Tacos

Cheers!!

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta

Makes 6-8 hearty servings

3 to 3 1/2 pounds boneless country style pork ribs, cut into large chunks

salt

2 cups hard apple cider

2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges (I used honeycrisp)

1 onion, cut into wedges

1/2 heaping cup dried sour cherries

1 tablespoon finely minced rosemary

chives, optional, for garnish

1 cup polenta

5 cups water

salt

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Heat a large skillet over high heat, sprinkle the pork liberally with salt and brown each piece in all sides (this step is optional, but recommended for maximum deliciousness), remove the pork from the pan and add about 1/4 cup of the hard cider, scraping up the browned bits as it bubbles. Pour the cider and browned bits, along with the browned pork pieces into a slow cooker, and add the remaining hard cider, apples, onion, sour cherries, and minced rosemary. Cover and set the slow cooker to high for 6 hours. Serve over cheesy polenta with lots of the pan juices and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Before serving, bring the 5 cups of water to a boil with a big pinch of salt. Slowly stir in the polenta with a whisk and turn down to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes until the polenta is soft and creamy. Stir in the butter and cheese, add additional salt to taste. [/recipe]

 

 

 

Recently on Betty Crocker

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Helllloooo! Just checking in between feeding sessions, diaper changes, snippets of sleep, and endless cuddles with my main squeeze, Casper.

I have plans to share some of my experience with this whole motherhood thing and some of how things went down labor/birth-wise (which ended up being not at all what I wanted/expected)…are you all interested in any of that? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Anyhoo (yeah, I just wrote “anyhoo…”), here are a few recipes that went live recently on BettyCrocker.com. Lots of delish end-of-summer fare before we transition into fall (YAY)!!

I hope summer treated you well!!

XO, Cindy

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Slow-Cooker Bacon Caprese Dip

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Skillet Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chip Streusel

Skillet Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chip Streusel

Raspberry Mint Limeade

Raspberry Mint Limeade 

Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Jalapeño Fruit Relish

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Jalapeño Fruit Relish

Chicken and Waffle Melts

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So…yeah…that’s a chicken and waffle with melted cheese all up on it. I made these rosemary-laced waffles with a decidedly savory slant for a project I was working on for Bisquick that didn’t end up getting used…and I couldn’t hold out on you and just let it whither away on my desktop. I had to share it! I mean, it’s crispy chicken and rosemary waffles meets cheesy melt, with a little sweet and spicy condiment, and it’s real good.

I’m a firm believer that most things are better with cheese. It’s just science, ya know? The waffles can be made with whatever your favorite, basic waffle recipe is with the addition of a heap of rosemary. It makes for a savory, herbal waffle that pairs perfectly with the super-crispy, Panko-crusted chicken. There’s a maple drizzle that’s spiced up with tangy Tabasco…it’s pretty amazing as a dipper for chicken fingers and makes total sense with this savory waffle concoction. The chives bring a little savory bite and the cheese does it’s magical, melty cheese thing. This crazy dish was intended to bring together breakfast and dinner to make everyones favorite meal: brinner! I think it works for a savory + sweet + cheesy + spicy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or brinner…it’s a versatile one.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Chicken and Waffle Melts

Since these waffles were intended for a project using Bisquick, they are made with the mix. I have not included a recipe for the waffles here, but you should use whatever waffle recipe is your stand-by and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh rosemary.  

4-6 rosemary waffles

1/2 lb. chicken breast cut into chunks

1 tablespoon flour

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

5 dashes of hot sauce, like tabasco

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup flour

salt and pepper

canola oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

as many dashes of hot sauce (tabasco) as you like

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Mix the chicken with the 1 tablespoon of flour to coat. Place the egg, milk, and hot sauce in a shallow, wide dish and whisk to combine. Place the panko, 1/4 cup flour, a big pinch of salt and pepper in another shallow, wide dish and mix to combine. Dip the flour coated chicken pieces in egg mixture, and dredge through the panko mixture to coat. Set on a plate and allow to rest for about 10 minutes so the breading adheres well to the chicken. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with about 1 inch of canola oil. Once the oil is hot, shallow fry the chicken in batches until cooked through and golden on all sides. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Preheat your oven’s broiler.

In a small bowl whisk together the maple and hot sauce. Place waffles on a baking sheet and layer with chicken pieces, and a generous amount of cheese. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from over, place on plates and sprinkle with chopped chives. Drizzle with the spicy maple and eat! [/recipe]