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Slow-Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork with Cheesy Polenta

Ease into fall flavors with a comforting pork dinner, made in your slow cooker.
By Stephanie Wise
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I’m fairly certain I could live on shredded meat cooked in the slow cooker (well, that and cookies). Nearly every time I make it, it turns out tender and full of flavor, but the prep work is minimal. This slow-cooker balsamic cranberry pulled pork is one of my go-tos when the weather starts to cool. Made with fresh herbs, cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar, the cooked pork literally falls apart when you shred it. And it tastes oh-so good on top of warm, cheesy polenta. To make the pork, combine a can of whole cranberry sauce, chopped onion, balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh rosemary and thyme and some garlic powder in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle a boneless pork shoulder with salt before adding it to the slow cooker. It’s best to use a pork shoulder for this recipe versus a pork tenderloin so it’s extra juicy and flavorful, but if you can’t find boneless pork shoulder, a tenderloin will work, just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly so it doesn’t dry out.

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Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours until the pork is fully cooked through and tender.

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Use two forks to shred the pork shoulder. Keep the pork covered in the slow cooker on the warm setting while you make the polenta.

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In a medium saucepan, bring a few cups of Progresso® chicken broth and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add a cup of dry polenta and reduce the heat. Cook and stir the polenta for about 5 minutes until it thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat; cover the pan and let the polenta sit for another 5 minutes. Then, stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.

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For a quick and delicious side to round out the meal, I love to serve Green Giant Seasoned Steamers honey Dijon carrots. The added sweetness of the honey Dijon sauce on the carrots pairs perfectly with the savory pork and polenta.

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To serve, spoon a generous dollop of the cheesy polenta into a bowl, then top with shredded pork, making sure to douse it with juice from the slow cooker. Don’t forget the carrots on the side!

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