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Mexican Pork Pie

If you prefer, top the pie with corn bread batter instead of quick-cooking polenta. To make corn bread, in a bowl, stir together 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir in 1 cup milk and 1 beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes longer in the final step below, or until golden brown.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbs. chili powder
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. crumbled dried oregano
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta

Directions:

Simmer the pork
Generously season the pork with salt. In an ovenproof sauté pan over high heat, cook the pork, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until most of the water has evaporated, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cook the filling
Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Increase the heat under the sauté pan to medium-high, sprinkle the pork with the chili powder and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the broth, the tomatoes and the oregano and simmer until the flavors are blended, 2 to 3 minutes.

Make the polenta and finish the pie
In a saucepan over high heat, bring the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and 1 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.

Spoon the polenta over the top of the pork. Bake until the polenta is browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, One Pot, by Carrolyn Carreño (Oxmoor House, 2008).