Ingredients (6 people)
1/2 tbsp. Pepper (black, coarsely ground)
1 1/2 cup Onion (chopped)
1/2 cup Celery stalks (chopped)
In a large pot, bring ten cups of water to a boil. Stirring continuously, slowly add the polenta in a thin stream. Cook the polenta
until it is completely cooked and begins to pull away from the sides of the pot, stirring often. This may take up to an hour. You may
need to add more hot water from time to time if the polenta becomes too thick. Always add water in small increments, about one
cup at a time.
When the polenta is cooked and smooth, add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the freshly grated Parmigiano
Reggiano cheese and season with salt to taste. Pour the hot polenta onto a greased baking sheet, cover with parchment to prevent
a skin from forming, and let cool. The polenta can be prepared a day in advance.
Cut the pork shoulder into 1 1/2-inch cubes. In a spice mill or mortar and pestle combine the fennel, brown sugar, salt and black
peppercorns and grind them into a powder. Season the pork cubes on all sides with the spice rub.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. In small batches, brown the pieces of pork shoulder on all sides, being
careful not to burn the spices. When all the pork has been browned, remove to a plate and pour off any of the fat.
Add the pancetta to the pot and cook until lightly browned, rendering its fat. Add the onion, fennel, celery and carrot and cook
until tender. Add the garlic and chili and cook another minute or two until the garlic is no longer raw. Add the tomato paste and
cook until it takes on a deep red brick color, about ten minutes.
Return the pork to the pot and cover with the milk. Cook until the milk is completely reduced. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and the stock and simmer until the pork is tender, about three to four hours. Season to taste and set
Cut out 3-inch circles from the cold polenta. Heat two nonstick sauté pans over high heat and add a film of olive oil in each. Fry
the polenta cakes on each side until golden brown. Plate and top with a large spoonful of the pork and garnish with a small arugula