Slow Cooker Balsamic Pulled Pork with Polenta and Avocado Crema

This slow cooker balsamic pulled pork is sweet and juicy served over cheesy polenta and topped with a cilantro infused avocado crema. Serious comfort food!

This slow cooker balsamic pulled pork is sweet and juicy served over cheesy polenta and topped with a cilantro infused avocado crema. Serious comfort food!

When we thought we sold our house a couple of month’s ago, we slowly started selling furniture we weren’t really attached to and knew wouldn’t really fit in the place we were supposed to buy.

One by one, the Craigslist characters came out of the woodwork and bought it.

2 weeks before what was supposed to be our closing and our home pretty much had a couch, a kitchen table, our dining room and bedroom set left. That was it.

All the knick-knacks were packed up and the surfaces they used to reside on, gone.

And then we didn’t actually sell our house.

This slow cooker balsamic pulled pork is sweet and juicy served over cheesy polenta and topped with a cilantro infused avocado crema.

I’m a pretty much all or nothing kind of person.

I’m either in full on “don’t care” mode and or “150% balls to the wall, let’s get this shit done” mode.

I chose the latter for re-furnishing the house much to my credit card’s dismay and have spent the last month stalking sites like Wayfair and Overstock and ending up in Homegoods 2-3 times a week.

The employees are starting to recognize me and I’ve become so familiar with their inventory I think I’ve figured out their shipment delivery days. My next quest is to figure out the schedule of the stingy manager who never marks anything down when it’s clearly damaged and pisses me off because really, who is going to buy that decorative teal crate at full price when a slab of wood is hanging down needing to be re-nailed?! Biatch.

So I ordered a new foyer table from Wayfair about a month ago. It was rustic and distressed and exactly what I was looking for. A week later, it arrives, I open the box and find one of the drawers in 2 pieces, one part completely ripped off the other.

So I call them (their customer service rocks by the way), they’re very apologetic and I’m told a replacement drawer will be sent out. In the meantime, we assemble the piece and Ulysses glues the drawer back together for a temporary fix. About a week later, I check the tracking info for the drawer and see that it’s shipped but FedEx is claiming the package to weigh 92 pounds. Um, that’s one heavy ass drawer. It gets here the next day, and lo and behold, it’s a whole new table. At this point, I’m thinking they must want me to return the old one (kind of a pain in the ass considering the logistics behind taking it apart, putting it back in the box and lugging a 90+ pound package to be shipped). So I open the new box and guess what? SAME DRAWER (the 2 drawers are different colors) is messed up.

This time it looks like someone (or thing) literally took a bite out of it. I call Wayfair back, tell them the story and we find out this warehouse doesn’t do replacement parts so they just ship new pieces without any expectation of returning the original. At this point I’m offered a refund or an attempt at a 3rd piece. Stupid me should’ve just taken the refund for $400+, dealt with a glued together drawer (because honestly, how often do you open the drawer of a foyer table?) and called it good with pretty much a free piece of furniture. But no, I said ok “send me another one!”.This slow cooker balsamic pulled pork is served over cheesy polenta and topped with a cilantro infused avocado crema. Serious comfort food!

That third one came yesterday.

Good news is it’s in perfect condition.

Bad news is, I now have 3 of the same 65 inch long table in my house with a husband who thinks it’s awesome and wants to put one in each room to “furnish” the house while I try to explain to him a foyer table is NOT the same as a dresser for a guest room and we need to sell these things on Craigslist.

So while he stubbornly assembled the third one and put it in the guest bedroom “temporarily” I made this slow cooker balsamic pulled pork and polenta.

And then refused to share any with him until he agreed that we sell the extra ones. I won.

Love this slow cooker balsamic pulled pork recipe?

Try these other slow cooker recipes: Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Beef BowlsSlow Cooker Summer Beef Stew, and Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu.


Slow Cooker Balsamic Pulled Pork with Polenta and Avocado Crema

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pulled Pork with Polenta and Avocado Crema

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

This slow cooker balsamic pulled pork is sweet and juicy served over cheesy polenta and topped with a cilantro infused avocado crema. Serious comfort food!


For the Pork

  • 2 1/2 pound boneless pork loin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the Polenta

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta (corn grits)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese

For the Avocado Crema

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • salt & pepper


For the Pork

  1. Combine the salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and cumin in a small.
  2. Rub on the top of the pork loin, pressing into the meat.
  3. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, pour into the slow cooker.
  4. Place the pork in the slow cooker in the balsamic mixture and cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Remove the pork once done, shred with two forks and place mixture back into the slow cooker, tossing to absorb all the juices.

For the Polenta

  1. Bring the milk, water and salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, slowly add the polenta and stir for about 10 minutes until thickened.
  3. Add the butter, cheese and season with more salt as needed.

For the Avocado Crema

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth

To Serve

  1. Place the polenta on the bottom of a bowl, top with pork and a dollop of the crema. Garnish with cilantro and more cheese.


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen


  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    Oh my gosh your drawer story is too funny! That’s crazy that it took 3 tries to actually get a non-broken one!
    But, hey, at least you wont. I am pretty sure any man would cave at the sight of this slow cooker balsamic pulled pork. We must be brain twins, as I’ve been doing a lot of pulled pork lately too!
    But, your balsamic version with the polenta and avocado crema? Dying. Drooling.

  2. Ashley

    haha my husband would do the exact same thing – the other day he wanted to put an old bedroom end-table in our foyer (since I have been looking for an entryway table) – um what? It doesn’t even come close to filling the space and would look ridiculous! This pork sounds amazing – love the creamy polenta!

  3. Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen

    I’m in the process of moving and selling stuff on Craigslist. I swear the crazies just keep getting crazier! The icing on the cake was the girl that started talking about wickens about 30 seconds after walking through my door, but assured me that she wasn’t one…awesome. I’m pretty certain one bite of this pulled pork will help me forget all about moving and crazy CL people! Love this meal…pinned!

  4. Kim

    This looks awesome!!
    What a funny story about the table (not funny for you, I guess!). My husband would be the same way about just keeping all 3 tables!!

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  6. Anna E.

    I made this the end of last week, and it was just delicious. We used the leftover pork to put on salads, sandwich rolls, tortillas and even a biscuit (it made a TON of pork). The polenta and crema were worth it as well, but the pork is definitely the best we’ve ever made in a slow cooker. I did brown the pork on the stove first and then cook the garlic plus some red onion on the stove top before adding it to the slow cooker.

    But, even as someone who is neither a big vinegar or pork fan, I say you need to make this pork.

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  8. Laura

    I made this recipe this week and it is delicious — one of the best, most interesting slow-cooker pork recipes I’ve ever tried. The combination of the vinegar and the pork made it slightly sweet and tangy and it was lovely paired with the avocado crema and polenta. Big hit at our house and the leftovers were gone the next day. I followed the recipe just as is and it was perfect. This recipe is a keeper – thank you!

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  11. Morgan

    I put all the crockpot ingredients before I left for work and when I came home the house smelled wonderful! The pork tastes delicious and I was/am so excited to eat; however, I’ve been trying to make the polenta for the last 40 minutes and I’m not getting any kind of thickness. I measured everything perfectly, but nothing is happening except my hunger is growing! If anyone sees this in the next 10 minutes HELP!

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    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      polenta logs are already pre-cooked so not really. I mean, you could slice it and warm it up/pan fry it and put the pork on top but it’s not going to be creamy like the pictures b/c they’ve already incorporated the water and milk into the cornmeal to turn it into the log at that point.

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  18. Babs W.

    Great recipe, thank you for posting. I’ve made this many times and it’s never failed yet! I substitute riced cauliflower for the polenta as we’re on paleo diet. The crema is made with goat kefir and 1/2 a bunch of cilantro added to your recipe. Whatever’s left we use as a dip or salad dressing. It’s a fabulous combination!

    Loved your story as well!


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