The inspiration for this dish? Leftovers. I didn't have a lot of energy to give to making dinner tonight, but I did have some leftover pork and some corn starring at me from the fridge.
I used leftover shredded pork that I cooked with lots of garlic and chilies... any leftover pork would work in this. I cooked my pork in the crock pot with blended hot chilies and a little stock, for about 6 hours, until it was fall apart tender. The chilies in my pork added to the spice of this dish, which I loved... but I also used a roasted jalapeno which gives off plenty of spice, if you want more, feel free to add more jalapenos or any chili of your liking, or omit them all together. You could also sub with a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes.
I made this dish without measuring or thinking, and I really had to sit down and think hard about what I put in it, even after I'd just eaten it. You know when you get cooking, and just add a little of this, a little of that... but I'm going to try my best and share a real recipe with you!
Shredded pork with mushroom gravy and corn cakes
3 or 4 cups of cooked shredded pork
1/2 stick of butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup finely diced mushrooms
1/2 cup finely diced potato
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt, pepper, and thyme to taste
1 roasted and seeded jalapeno pepper, finely diced
3 + cups vegetable stock (I used close to 4)
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella because it's what I had, but Queso would be awesome in these, and Havarti, or maybe a Gouda)
2 cups corn (canned, frozen, or from the cob, which is what I used)
3/4 to 1 cup water
vegetable oil, for frying
Start by adding your butter, mushrooms, potato, onion, and jalapeno to a pan. Cook over medium heat until your vegetables are nice and tender. Your potatoes will cook slower, so I cooked them until they were half done, and then you can let them cook the rest of the way in the completed gravy.
Add your flour to your butter and vegetable mix and mix well. Let that cook for about a minute, or until it starts to smell nice and nutty. Don't let it burn of course! Slowly, start adding your vegetable stock, whisking as you add it. I used 3 cups of stock and a little more here and there - you want a nice thick sauce, but not too thick. So add more stock as you need it to get the sauce to the right consistency. Add in your shredded pork, and season the gravy to taste with the salt, pepper, and thyme. I used garlic powder in this, you could of course use fresh garlic if you'd like. Turn the heat down to low, and let the gravy cook with the pork in it until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, toss all the ingredients for your corn cakes into a bowl - except for the water. Mix well. Add the water 1/4 cup at a time, just until your mixture comes together so you can work with it.
Form the corn mixture into patties with your hands, and fry them about 4 minutes each side, until nicely browned, in the vegetable oil - you don't really need a lot of oil, just enough to coat the bottom of your pan.
Remove the cakes from the frying pan and place them on paper towels to drain.
To finish it, place a corn cake on the plate with some pork and gravy over top of it. Garnish with a little parsley, and voila! A simple and fun way to use up some leftovers.
*After this meal tonight - there were no leftovers! :)