A few years back I took on a month-long challenge of making a pie for every letter from A to Z – which means I was basically making an entire pie every day of the week for that whole month. Almost all of these pies were sweet, and as I prepared to put together yet another sweet pie for the letter “U” I realized something: we were all getting burned out on super sweet dessert pies. Inconceivable! And yet, true.
Our table and fridge were overflowing with sweet pies and we ate them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner trying to keep up.
To give us a break from all the sugar, I put together a savory pie consisting of juicy, seasoned shredded pork, Mexican-blend cheese, and all held together with green chile-dotted cornbread.
Fitting this or any pie with a “U” name was a challenge. Unutterably Good? Unbelievably Delicious? Unchaste? Unrestrained?
Then my son offered up this name: “Uno Of A Kind”. Clever boy! Now that the challenge is long behind me, I call this my Savory Shredded Pork & Cornbread Pie. But to be clear, it is still an uno of a kind pie!
Savory Shredded Pork & Cornbread Pie
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin
- 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 half & half
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 4.35-ounce can green chiles
- 1-1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 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, paprika, and oil. 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.
- Place the meat in a crock pot with 1/4 cup of water. 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. Place the pork in a medium bowl and add to it the reserved cooking liquid. Toss the pork and liquid together.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8" x 8" baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine the half & half, 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.)
- Pour half of the cornbread batter into an even layer in the prepared pan. Spread the shredded pork evenly over the batter, and then sprinkle the Cheddar cheese over the top of the pork. Pour the remaining batter over the top, spreading it evenly over the top and to the sides.
- 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.