Be sure the oven is up to temperature before you start the polenta. Adding the white wine in stages for repeated reductions goes a long way toward deepening the flavor and color of this stew.
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A definite keeper, perfect for fall and winter entertaining. The ragout sauce was sublime (for the stock I used homemade chicken and a little broth I'd made from the leftovers of a ham cooked in cider). It's hard to get my burners low enough, so I just cooked in a 200 deg oven for about 2 hrs, then reduced on top of stove. Great polenta method, too. Never tried oven baked before, but it worked nicely.
Wow, this was really delicious. My dinner guests raved about it! I made it a day in advance, but the flavors were just as rich two days later. I would recommend making it ahead so that the flavors can meld. My cooking time was a bit longer, and when I reheated it the next day the pork finally fell apart and was tender. I added the onions and prunes toward the end of the cooking time so that they wouldn't become too macerated or mushy but you need that butter and carmelized sugar to thicken the sauce. Slightly more time consuming than I'd anticipated, but well worth it. I served it with creamy polenta (stock and whole milk), rather than the baked polenta, so I can't comment on that part of the recipe.
This is fantastic. I adapted it slightly to include prunes that were soaked in hot tea, as they are in the duck/red wine version of this recipe that appears in The Cooking of Southwest France. Tender pork requires patience in the long simmer step, but the amount of time it takes is right in line with the recipe. This is comfort food at its best.
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