Spicy Shredded Pork & Cornbread Pie
While working through the challenge of making a pie for every letter from A to Z, I prepared to put together a sweet pie for the letter “U”. Separately, I was defrosting a marinated pork loin for dinner that night.
However, twenty pies into this challenge we all realized we were getting burned out on super sweet dessert pies. Inconceivable! And yet, true.
My poor husband ate my Key Lime and Raspberry Pie for breakfast for well over a week! My son worked on Peanut Butter Pie and I chiseled away at Coconut Cream Pie. The sacrifices we make!
So I ditched my idea for the sweet “U” pie and went with this savory pie instead: a single-crust pie with green chile-dotted cornbread serving as the upper crust for the juicy Southwest-seasoned, shredded pork and layers of cheese.
Fitting this or any pie with a “U” name was a challenge. Unutterably Good? Unbelievably Delicious? Unchaste? Unrestrained?
Then my son offered up “Uno Of A Kind”. Clever!
Spicy Shredded Pork & Cornbread Pie
A savory, spicy supper pie with shredded pork and cornbread!
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, such as Sugar Mountain Pork Tenderloin
- 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup Cabot 4-Cheese Mexican Shredded Natural Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup Monument Farms half & half or milk
- 1/4 cup Cabot unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, such as Savage Gardens
- 2 4-ounce cans green chiles
- 1-1/4 cups Nitty Gritty Grain Company Whole Grain High Meadow Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 cup King Arthur Flour all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Salsa and sour cream, for serving (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon of the salt with the chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, cumin and paprika. Have a crock pot ready, with the temperature set to high heat.
Cut the pork loin into 2 or 3 pieces. Rub each piece of pork on all sides with the spice blend.
In a large pan heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sear the pieces of pork loin in the oil - about 1 minute per side, turning the pieces as each side browns.
Remove the meat from the pan and place it into a crock pot. Add 1/4 cup of water to the hot pan. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, while using a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Add this liquid to the crock pot. If there is any of the spice blend left from step 1, add this in also. Cook the pork on the high setting for about 1 hour, until the pork is cooked through and easy to shred.
Remove the pork from the crock pot, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Allow the meat to cool for about 10 minutes. Use your fingers or two forks to shred the pork, removing any bits of fat.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8" x 8" baking dish.
Place about half of the shredded pork into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid over the pork, and then sprinkle 1/2 of the Mexican-blend cheese over the top. Layer the remaining pork evenly over the cheese, and pour the remaining 1/4 cup of liquid over it. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pork. Press down the top of the pie with your hands to slightly compress the ingredients.
In a medium bowl, combine the half & half (or milk), melted butter, egg and chiles. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, only until just combined (do not over-mix.) Spoon the cornbread batter over the top of the pie and spread into an even layer to the edges of the dish.
Bake for 35 minutes, until the top of the cornbread is lightly browned and a tester inserted into the bread comes out with just a few crumbs. Remove the pie from oven. Slice and serve it while the pie is hot, with salsa or sour cream if desired.
The A to Z Challenge is an annual blogfest! Over 2,000 bloggers come together in the month of April and post on every day of the month (Sundays off) whatever theme or subject they choose for each letter of the alphabet. Check out the A to Z Challenge website.