Herb-Crusted Pork with Creamy Polenta & Tomato-Garlic Sauce
1 cup/75gm - mixed fresh herbs, any combination
1/4 cup/60gm - garlic, minced
2 tbsp/4gm (to taste) - red chili pepper flakes
1/4 cup/60gm (to taste) - kosher salt
1/4 cup/28gm (to taste) - freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup/6cl - olive oil
3 1/2 lb/1.6kg - pork loin, center cut, chine bone removed
1 qt/9dl - water
2 cup/190gm - cornmeal
6 ea. - plum tomato, halved
1 ea. - red onion, peeled and cut into eighths
12 ea. - garlic clove, peeled, whole
2 1/2 fl oz/8cl - extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup/28gm - basil, chopped
1/4 cup/6cl - balsamic vinegar
1. Build a small fire in one half of a covered grill, using about enough charcoal to fill a shoebox. Let the fuel become completely engulfed in flames, then wait a few minutes for the fire to burn down a bit.
2. In a small bowl, combine the herbs, chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and the olive oil and mix well. Rub the pork loin generously with the herb mixture and place on the grill, fat side down for 45 minutes, over the side of the grill with no fire, flip the pork loin over, cover again, and cook for another 45 minutes. To check for doneness: Cut into the roast and peek inside to make sure the meat is just a bit pink in the center. If you're using a meat thermometer, the temperature should be 150F(65.5C). Remove the pork from the grill and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.
3. While the pork is cooking make the polenta: In a medium saucepot, bring the water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent it from becoming lumpy. Once all the cornmeal is added, turn down the heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the polenta pulls away from the side of the pan in a mass and, when tasted, has a smooth rather than a grainy texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Make the sauce: Combine the tomatoes, onion, whole cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Spoon these ingredients onto a small cookie sheet and roast in a preheated 450F(230C) oven until the onion and tomatoes start to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and, as soon as the tomatoes, onion, and garlic are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them. You want them to be chunky. Place in a medium bowl, add the basil and vinegar, mix well, and set aside.
5. Carve the roast into full-chop slices. Spoon a serving of polenta onto each individual serving plate, lay a pork chop on top, top with the tomato-garlic sauce, and serve.
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Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV