Saturday, 5 December 2009

Recipe: layered tortilla casserole

The only positive thing about all this cold, wet weather is that it's a good excuse to eat more food, especially the kind of dishes that lend themselves so well to winter. At the moment, food is all about comfort, value and simplicity and there's plenty of Mexican dishes that you can create at home that fit all three trends.

Supper the other evening was a perfect example of this, a combination of shredded pork layered with home made tortillas and smothered with adobada sauce. There's something totally delicious about tortillas simmered in an earthy chile sauce in the oven; they become incredibly soft and doughy, creating a dish that's both comforting and homely, similar to bread pudding. It's an unbeatable combination of flavours and texture and one that I'd take over lasagne any day of the week.

Layered tortilla casserole (serves 2)
350g pork loin or shoulder, cubed
3/4 pt water
Bay leaf
1 tbsp malt vinegar
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

4 leftover tortillas, flour or corn
1/2 pt chile adobada sauce

Place the pork, water, bay leaf, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours until the meat is fork tender. If you don't have a slow cooker, this will take about an 1 1/2 hr simmered on the hob or in a low oven.

Shred the pork and combine with 1/3 of the sauce. Place a tortilla in a baking dish and layer with the meat, a tortilla and a little sauce. Repeat the process, making sure you finish with a sauce covered tortilla on the top. Bake in a moderate over (180C) for 20-30 mins or until the top is crusty and the sauce bubbling around the ages.
You could of course add beans, cheese and/or cream to the dish for a more filling dish.

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