Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
8 Hours 15 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups pork mixture and 1/2 cup polenta)

When ready to serve, just whip up a fresh batch of polenta. Pack any leftover pork in an airtight container and pop into the freezer for a quick and flavorful supper down the road.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Transfer pork to a slow cooker. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer mixture to slow cooker. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, tomatoes, rosemary, and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 1/2 hours. Add vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; turn off heat. Shred pork with 2 forks.

Step 2

Combine 2 cups water and milk in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; add polenta, stirring with a whisk. Cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve pork over polenta in shallow bowls.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

CHBrown's Review

February 17, 2015
It could use more flavor. The polenta was very bland. I don't usually salt food, but this dish needed salt. I would make it again, and I would just add additional salt to the recipe. I would consider substituting mashed potatoes in place of the polenta. Or use a cup of chicken broth in place of a cup of water for the polenta.

kstuart623's Review

January 19, 2015
very nice, but lots of fat had to be skimmed. It is a nice change and the flavor was good. All of the leftovers went quickly...which is always a good sign.

carissamessick's Review

January 05, 2015
Difficult to find such a small sized Boston butt but I made it in the oven with a 7 lb one and the same amount of other ingredients from the recipe. Turned out well and tons of leftovers

svfoodie review

March 18, 2015
I also had trouble finding a pork butt that small, but I just used a larger one. I thought the recipe was a little bland, so I added some chopped kalamata olives and some roasted pine nuts at the end, which helped give it a salty and crunchy flavor. I also topped it with chopped Italian parsley for some "green." It was a nice "comfort food" recipe.


March 28, 2015
Tasteless.  Made to recipe using larger natural bone-in shoulder & added 1tbs chopped fresh oregano because we had it on hand.  The factory-packaged small Boston butts seem to all have 10%-12% added fluid & who wants to pay for water & salt but maybe that's what gave some folks more flavor?  Waste of a lot of good ingredients.

Good, not great

April 18, 2015
I expected a bit more flavor from the pork, and as some other reviewers mention the polenta was bland. I couldn't find a shoulder cut that small, so I used a loin. Tender - just not as flavorful as I hoped.

Very Good - modified for stove top

May 04, 2015
We thought this was an very good recipe (we used leftover pork butt we had in the freezer). The slow cooker died, so we adapted for stove top/oven (use dutch oven, do not drain the cans of tomatoes, cook initially on stove top to sear and saute, then cover and cook in oven at 325 for 2 hours, and lastly 15 minutes simmering uncovered on stove top). Because of other reviewers, we added more parmesan cheese (about 1 tablespoon per serving instead of total). Served with a simple side salad.

Don't bother with this one...

July 26, 2015
It wouldn't say it was terrible, but I will definitely not be making this again. I'm disappointed, as I usually love CL recipes, but we just did not appreciate the flavor profile of this dish. It tasted fatty and bland at the same time. I added additional salt and parmesan to the polenta, and to the finished dish as well, but even that didn't save it. And, unfortunately, it provides LOTS of leftovers (cooking for two.)


October 20, 2015
I make 3 or 4 Cooking Light recipes per week and usually love all them.  This one didn't have much flavor, sadly!


November 18, 2015
After reading the other reviews, we opted to have this over garlic-mashed potatoes instead of the polenta.  Total cooking time for my crock pot was 6 1/2 hours and the meat was tender and juicy.  The entire family loved it and the house smelled wonderful.  The only other minor change was using fire-roasted canned tomatoes.  Will definitely make again.