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Slow-Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork with Cheesy Polenta

By Stephanie Wise
Created January 10, 2017
Ease into fall flavors with a comforting pork dinner, made in your slow cooker.

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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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!