Remember that Hatch Chile Chopped Pork from a while back? We made hoagies and enchiladas with it but we’re not done yet. This Braised Pork Penne Casserole is rich, hearty and satisfying. Scott and I had this last night for dinner and it was so unctuous and meaty, we both kept sneaking back into the dish to sneak another penne or a nugget of pork and he’s already claimed the leftovers for his lunch today.
I started this dish with leftover chopped pork — which was braised in a crock pot with a load of hatch chiles for flavor and a steady mild heat.
Saute some vegetables and sprinkle with flour to make a simple roux. Add milk and stir until you have a thick béchamel. Divide the béchamel sauce in half, reserving one half for the topping. To the other half, stir in the pork.
Add the cooked pasta to the pork and stir to combine, then layer half of the pasta mixture in a baking dish. Top with a few slices of smoked gouda (you could use any cheese you like, but the smoked gouda adds depth to the casserole) then finish with the remaining pasta. Add shredded cheese to the remaining béchamel and stir until it’s melted, then spread it over the top of the casserole.
Top with fresh breadcrumbs and transfer to a hot oven.
The whole house takes on a warm, homey, appetizing aroma as this bakes.
The crispy breadcrumbs are a nice contrast to the interior of the casserole which is a soft, creamy amalgam of pork, chiles, cheese and pasta. Wow.
Braised Pork Penne Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper chopped
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth (or reserved pork broth from the braise, if you have it)
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 cup shredded cheese such as monterey jack, cheddar, mozzarella
- 3 cups leftover Beer Braised Hatch Chile Chopped Pork recipe from this site
- 1/2 pound penne pasta cooked to al dente, rinsed and drained
- 4 slices smoked gouda cheese
- 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a casserole dish with vegetable spray and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil. Heat until the oil slicks across the bottom of the pan and add the onion, celery and green pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened and slightly translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the butter to the pan and once it's melted, sprinkle on the flour. Stir to combine the butter, flour and vegetables until they are well coated and cook for one minute.
- Slowly stir in the chicken broth until completely combined. Add the milk and stir to combine. Continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of sauce to a large bowl. Add shredded cheese to the remaining sauce in the saucepan and stir until melted. Set aside.
- To the sauce in the bowl, add the chopped pork and penne pasta and toss to coat. Spread half of the penne mixture into the casserole dish and spread into the dish evenly. Lay the sliced gouda over the penne. Top with remaining pork/penne and spread evenly over the top.
- Spoon the remaining cheese sauce evenly over the casserole. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is lightly browned and casserole is bubbling.
More Homestyle Casseroles:
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