2 pounds pork shoulder
2 serrano chiles
1 pasilla chile
2 dried New Mexican chiles
1 large yellow onion, rough dice
6-8 garlic cloves, whole peeled
Pinch of salt and pepper
Enough water to cover pork shoulder
2 cups dried red beans (soaked overnight to help them cook more quickly)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (for greasing muffin tins)
1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
1 cup polenta corn meal
4 cups water (substitute: chicken stock or bullion)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Chili powder to taste
1. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add chopped onions, peeled whole garlic cloves, serrano chiles, and pasilla chile. Sauté on high heat for ~5 minutes until the onions are partially caramelized.
2. Sprinkle the pork with a pinch of salt and pepper and add to the pan. Brown all sides of the pork shoulder well. This will take ~4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a deep and large ceramic pot along with the chiles, onion, and garlic.
3. Add in 2 dried New Mexican chiles and enough water to cover the pork shoulder. Simmer over low heat.
4. After one hour add red beans.
5. Simmer for an additional hour (2 to 2.5 hours in total) until the meat is tender to the touch of a fork. Remove the pork and chiles from the pot.
6. Return the pork broth with garlic, onions and red beans to the stove and let it continue to simmer over a low heat for approximately 15 minutes, until it has reduced to a thick sauce.
7. De-stem the chiles and scrape out the seeds and add the chiles back into the broth.
8. While the broth is reducing, carve the pork shoulder off the bone and into a rough chop. Set aside.
9. Remove the broth from the stove when it has reduced to a thick sauce. Using a handheld blender, blend the chiles, beans, onions and garlic in the broth until they are fully incorporated. Add the braised pork shoulder chunks into the broth, and return to the stove over low heat.
10. Prepare your muffin pan by pouring 1/8 tbsp of oil into each hole and place on the side of the grill, not over direct heat, to warm up the pan.
11. While the broth is continuing to heat up, prepare the polenta. Boil 4 cups of water in a separate pot and add polenta corn meal, slowly mixing it together. Add in ¼ pound of butter and whisk together. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste.
12. Remove the pork broth from the heat. It should be reduced to a medium thickness. At this point adjust seasoning to taste.
13. Place a large spoonful of polenta into each muffin hole so that it covers the bottom. Top the polenta filled muffin tins with one large spoonful of the pork, bean, and chile mixture.
14. Sprinkle with some shredded cheese on top and press lightly into the meat mixture. You can use jalapeño, jack, or a less spicy cheddar cheese if you prefer. Add another tablespoon of polenta on top of the cheese to cover the surface and smooth it down to make it more even. Sprinkle again with more cheese on top.
15. Place muffin pan on the grill over indirect heat for about 10 minutes. Remove pan from grill and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove pies from pan, loosen contents from tins with a cake server or offset spatula, then flip the pies over a tray and tap the muffin tin bottoms to pop them out.
Plate up and serve immediately!