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Tamal en Cazuela (Cuban Pork Polenta)

A thick Cuban pork stew made with braised pork, fresh corn and cornmeal.
Tamal en Cazuela (Cuban Pork Polenta)

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Servings: 6
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Recipe by: Frankie


3 to 4 pounds country-style pork ribs, bone-in
2 TBSP olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces tomato paste
1 TBSP cumin
2 cups water
2 medium ears of corn, shucked, and kernels removed (about 1 cup)
2 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cups cornmeal
3 TBSP unsalted butter
salt and pepper


1. Pat the ribs dry and generously season with salt and pepper

2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.

3. Sear the pork ribs until well browned on all sides (you'll probably have to cook them in batches). Place the seared pork ribs on a plate and set aside.

4. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

5. Sir in the tomato paste and cumin, cook while stirring until tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute.

6. Pour in the water and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any stuck on bits.

7. Place the pork ribs back in the pan submerged in the sauce and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until pork easily comes off the bone, about 3 hours.

8. Add the corn kernels and lime juice to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, set aside.

9. Uncover the pan and remove the pork ribs, discard the bones and break up the pork into bite size pieces, set the pork aside.

10. Add the pureed corn, cornmeal, butter, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to the liquid in the pan and stir to combine.

11. Keep the heat at low and cook, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly, about 10 minutes. (Your spoon should be able to stand up in it by itself, If it's too thick add a little water to thin it out or if it's too thin add a little more cornmeal to thicken it up).

12. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in the pork and serve.

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Tamal en Cazuela (Cuban Pork Polenta)

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