Tex-Mex Shredded Pork Lasagna

I don’t really know what to call this. Except delicious. I saw a picture for a Seven Layer Tortilla Dip on Let’s Dish and was totally smitten at first sight. I didn’t follow the recipe, but it became my inspiration when putting together my version.

Think of this dish like a deconstructed “super burrito”. Everything you love about those fatty monster wraps is in there: tortillas, refried beans, rice, spicy and tender shredded pork, and of course, lots and lots of cheese. My favorite part? The pork. It stewed and softened for three long hours, and then practically fell apart on it’s own as I shredded it. (Is it weird to get so much satisfaction from shredded meat? Seriously, it’s the best.) Another cool thing about this dish is the use of the braising liquid as kind of an enchilada sauce to pour over the finished dish. The juice, having stewed and developed for three hours, is craaazy—full of the flavor of the pork and all those aromatic herbs. It also saves you the effort of having to make another sauce.

A little time consuming to prepare, but seriously worth it!

Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Shredded Pork Lasagna (inspired by Let’s Dish)

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

Shredded Pork

1 1/2 lbs stewing pork, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks

olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, choppped

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1-2 tbsp tomato paste

water, enough to just cover pork

1 bay leaf

Rice

2 cups cooked rice (I used a combination of white and red)

1/2 can stewed tomatoes

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

Assembly

6 tortillas (I used whole wheat)

1 can refried beans (I used refried black)

1 cup shredded cheese (in my case, Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack)

1/2 can black olives, sliced

reserved stewing liquid

METHOD

Shredded Pork

  1. Season pork with a little salt and pepper. In a medium pot, sear sides of meat in a little olive oil over high heat, about 1-2 minutes. (I did mine in batches, in order to maintain a high temperature in the pan.) Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, saute the garlic, onion, cumin, cayenne and oregano in a little more olive oil over medium heat. Once just golden, stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
  3. Put pork back into pot, add enough water to just cover the meat, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, stir in salt, pepper and bay leaf. Cover and let stew until meat shreds easily with a fork, 2-3 hours. Test for seasoning; add more salt and/or spices to your liking. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Once cooled, remove the meat from the pan, reserving the stewing liquid for later. Use two forks or your fingers to shred the pork.

Rice

  1. In a small saucepan, bring stewed tomatoes and water to small boil; reduce heat to low. Stir in rice, cumin, oregano, and salt. Check for seasoning and add additional salt or spices if necessary. Cook until warm. Remove from heat.

Assembly

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line the bottom of a large gratin dish with two tortillas. (My tortillas overlapped a bit; I also cut them to fit better in the form) Next, spread one third of the refried beans over the tortillas, followed by a third of the rice, shredded pork, sliced olives and grated cheese. Repeat this process for the second and third layers. When assembling the final and top layer, wait to sprinkle on the cheese.  Pour the reserved stewing liquid over the gratin, shifting around the dish to ensure the juice reaches the bottom. Now you can add the last layer of cheese.
  3. Cover dish with foil tent. Bake for 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil and allow the cheese to melt further and become golden.


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