Week #3 - Cranberry Balsamic Pork Roast with Mascarpone Polenta

Cranberry Balsamic Pork Roast with Mascarpone Polenta
This week we get a little more challenging with some more complex flavors for you all! I wouldn't say this one is very difficult, it just is a little more involved than the past two recipes.  BUT it is a slow cooker recipe, so that does take a little of the work out of it for you.
This recipe was inspired by the Peposo with Mascarpone Polenta that I had at Salvatore's Tomato Pies recently (it's actually made with our beef!).  I loved it so much but wanted to see if I could come up with something different to go with the cheesy, deliciousness of the polenta.  
I created this recipe in mid-December and knew it would be a recipe challenge recipe right away! One thing I didn't plan for was that there wouldn't be any fresh cranberries available during the recipe challenge.  (You can get so many things year-round, it never even crossed my mind cranberries were only available Nov-Jan!) I searched for frozen ones and only found them at one store, so I decided to go the canned cranberry route so that it might be a little easier for everyone to source the ingredients needed. I reworked the recipe recently using canned cranberry sauce and it turned out great too. 
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it incorporates two other local ingredients! You will be using Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Mascarpone from Waterloo, WI and Heartland Craft Grains Polenta from Lodi, WI.
I hope it might be something new for you all and that you enjoy it! 
A link to the recipe is found below.

About the Cut

Wells Farms Pork Roast - Local Pork near Madison, WI
Pork Roast
Our pork roasts are juicy and full of flavor! The low and slow method is best with these cuts, in order to breakdown connective tissue and collagen, resulting in meat that is incredibly flavorful and tender.
Optimal Cooking Methods:
Slow cooking, Braising, Roasted

Cranberry Balsamic Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Mascarpone Polenta


3lb Wells Farms Pork Roast (Picnic Roast or Butt Roast work just fine)

1 - 14 oz can Whole Cranberry Sauce

1 tsp Orange Zest

1 tsp Rosemarry

2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar 

1/4 cup Orange Juice 

1 TBSP Honey

Salt and Pepper to taste



Place the pork roast in a slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.

Pour the cranberry mixture over the roast.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove the roast from the slow cooker, leaving juices in the pot.

In a small bowl mix add 2 TBSP cornstarch and then add 2TBSP water. It is important to add the corn starch first and then the water.  Mix well so there are no clumps.  This makes a cornstarch slurry.  Add the slurry to the juices left in the slow cooker and stir.  Let it cook on high for a few minutes to thicken the sauce.

Serve the pork roast over the polenta and spoon some of the sauce over the entire dish.  I drizzled some balsamic glaze (I purchased this at Pick n Save/Kroger) or you can drizzle some regular balsamic vinegar over the dish.



Mascarpone Polenta

1 cup Heartland Craft Grains Polenta

4 cups liquid (water, milk, chicken stock or a combination that.  I used 2 cups whole milk and 2 cups chicken stock)

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP butter

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup Crave Brothers Mascarpone


Bring the liquid to a boil and while stirring, slowly add the polenta.

Simmer on low heat for around 45 minutes or until the polenta is soft.  Make sure to stir every 5-10 minutes to prevent sticking.

As the polenta cooks it will stick to itself, pulling away from the sides of the pan. 

After 45 minutes, add the salt, butter, Parmesan cheese and mascarpone cheese.  Stir well to incorporate.

Serve immediately.