Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weekly Recipe: Pulled Pork on Polenta Cakes

Even in the dead of summer I love finding recipes that utilize my crockpot.  I mean what is better than coming home to a wonderful aroma and a meal that is already cooked?!  The only thing better would be if someone else fixed it for you.  When I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it.  We love barbeque but I hate finding chunks of fat at some bbq joints.  Making it at home allows me to cut it all off first or scrutinize each morsel as I'm shredding it.  Anal?  Yes, I am.  I also love pairing cornbread with bbq, so this was right up my alley as well.  And of course coleslaw just goes hand in hand.

I really liked the way this recipe came together.  Wes prefers traditional corn cakes but I liked the heartiness of the polenta cakes.  I used a grass-fed beef roast because it was the right size and also less fatty.  It worked just perfect - almost too perfect because we both wanted more!  I halved the recipe but next time I would do a little more, more like 2 lbs.  For the rub, I just added some spices that I had in the cabinet - some chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion flakes, salt and pepper.  For the finishing bbq sauce, I used a combination of Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce and a local bbq sauce, Le Bayou Gourmet BBQ Sauce.

Gluten-free Pulled Pork on Polenta Cakes
Adapted from Simply Gluten-Free
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork


3 pounds pork butt 
3 tablespoon dry rub seasoning
2 cups gluten-free barbeque sauce, either bottled or homemade – use divided


Place pork butt in a large freezer bag, add the dry rub and rub it all over the meat. Close up the bag and let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

Place pork butt in slow cooker and pour in enough water to come two thirds of the way up the meat. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours or on high for 4 -5 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker, and pour out the liquid. Keep the slow cooker on.

Shred the meat using two forks. Discard any skin, bones and chunks of fat. Return the meat to the slow cooker, add 1½ cups of barbeque sauce and heat until the sauce is hot. You can turn the slow cooker up to high to make this go faster.

Heat the remaining ½ cup barbeque sauce in a small pan if desired to serve along side.

While meat is heating make the polenta cakes and coleslaw.

Grilled Polenta Cakes:


2 cups corn meal
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup milk 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt & Pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil


Mix the cornmeal and cheese. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan just until the butter melts. Pour the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Form the cornmeal mixture into 8 equal patties about 3 inches across. Fry the polenta cakes in batches until golden brown, 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Keep warm until ready to serve.



1 head of cabbage or 1 – 16 ounce bag coleslaw mix
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper


If using whole cabbage, finely shred with a sharp knife and place in a large mixing bowl. Otherwise pour the bagged coleslaw mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Can be made several hours or even a day ahead. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

To assemble the whole dish, top polenta cakes with pulled pork and coleslaw. Pass extra sauce to be added as desired.

Makes 8.


  1. Sounds yummy! I've always wanted to try to make polenta. You hanging in there okay momma??

  2. Marking this one for this week. Thank you!!

  3. Hmmm...I like the idea of the polenta cakes. What size crockpot do you have? Ours is huge! I find myself not using it unless we're cooking for a big crowd because I don't like to wash it. (I know...)

  4. YUM!!! That sounds delicious and I'm so excited that you posted a crock pot dish!!! I reeeeally need to start using mine more but I never think about it! Thanks for reminding me! :)

    P.S. I was cracking up at your comment on my Love Dare post. You are too funny. :D

  5. I LOVE pulled pork! I never thought of making it on polenta cakes...will have to try this!

  6. Hey!!!! I found strawberry and raspberry extracts at my local grocery store but they have natural ones at a health food stores. I picked up some watermelon extract last night!!

    I also wanted to tell you that you can use beetroot to get the red color in red velvet! That's what most bakeries do and that's probably what I'll do! :)

  7. Wow, this looks like a perfect meal! My hubby loves BBQ but I haven't made pulled pork yet and really need to (I need to get a slow cooker!). I love the polenta cakes too.

    I'm sending lots of good vibes about Pete arriving soon and already can't wait to see pictures :)

  8. These look great! A friend of mine makes a similar version that she calls her "party" version in which she ditches the cake for those oblong Ritz crackers with edges/sides. Oooooh, girl! She is a hit at a party. Hope all is well! Cute blog! =)