So I didn’t even know it was the Superbowl yesterday. These things happen when you live… far away.
Do you think Beyonce likes Mexican Polenta Pie?
Speaking of people liking Mexican Polenta Pie, guess who else likes it? My neighbors.
Except I’m not actually sure if they like-it-like-it, considering that I have yet to meet a Mexican-food-loving Filipino. Adding to the weirdness is that I’ve been told that it’s culturally appropriate to offer things multiple times even if someone initially declines (here, you can have it, yes, take it, no really, yep, that’s cheese, it’s for you, seriously, yes, it’s, um, like, pork?), but in the end they took it with a smile and who knows what they ever even thought of it. Thank you, neighbors, for making me feel better about myself. Because if it were me, I’d think I was weird.
On the other hand, if it were the real me, I’d eat the whole thing.
One thing real quick. Shredded pork is the best meat in the world.
The meat is just like the juicy, tender, perfectly-flavored crockpot carnitas, except it has the added texture of the pinto beans which is like the chalupas, and it’s all baked with a thick corn-gritzy cheesy polenta top layer, which is awesomely like an inverted chicken tamale pie. Whoa.
And even though it looks like I dumped a bucket of cheese on top, it’s actually barely even one cup.
Annnnd one more time, right in your face.
A few other things.
- I bought 4 red bell peppers to saute and add to the mix because I’m trying to eat, like, more vegetables and other healthy things? I try. All the time. But they’re still sitting in my fridge. Wups. Now taking recipe ideas for red bell peppers.
- Speaking of ideas, your ideas for polenta toppings on Facebook were lovely. Truly lovely. I just love how much you all just love food. You are phenomenal and I wish we could real-life cook together, but Facebook is almost the same, right?
- I ALSO love how you can make my most worst vegetable enemy, the mushroom, sound delicious. Sneaky, guys. Reeeal sneaky.
- Bjork’s parents are flying in to Cebu tonight! I feel a family vacation coming on and I’m pretty happy about it.
This Mexican polenta pie is true comfort food! Made with pork and pinto beans in the crockpot and baked with polenta and cheese.
- 1 lb. pork butt or pork shoulder (a large semi-fatty cut of meat with no bones)
- 1 lb. dry pinto beans, soaked
- 12 oz. light beer + 12 oz. water (just refill the bottle)
- 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 16 oz. jar salsa
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 6–8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups polenta
- 6 cups water
- 1 14 oz. can corn, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste (be generous!)
- shredded cheese, cilantro, and salsa for topping
- Place the pork, beans, beer, water, tomatoes, salsa, seasoning, and garlic in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. When pork is cooked through and beans are tender, shred the pork in the slow cooker with two forks.
- Bring water to a boil in a large non-stick pan; add a pinch of salt. Add polenta and cook over medium low heat. It will splatter, so be careful! After a while the polenta should stop bubbling – stir in the corn. Continue stirring every once in a while to prevent it from sticking all over the bottom. It will thicken as it cooks – cook for about 20-25 minutes for a soft polenta, adding more water if necessary and seasoning it with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the broiler. Arrange the meat and bean mixture in the bottom of a large pie, casserole, or baking dish and spread the polenta over the top. Cover with cheese (I used about a cup of shredded Mozzarella). Place under a broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted.
This would also be great with some roasted bell peppers added to it or some chopped chipotle peppers! I couldn’t even fit all the filling or polenta in the casserole dish that I used. It would easily fill a 9×13 or larger baking dish or two pie dishes.
Also, soaking the beans overnight will help ensure that they are fully cooked when the pork is ready.