Monday, May 7, 2012

Tamale Pie

Butter for greasing pie plate
1 tbls vegetable oil
1/2 lb 90 percent lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 medium jalapeño, minced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp gr cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbls chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 tbls minced fresh oregano
Gr. black pepper
2 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

4 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups coarse cornmeal (I used polenta)

1. For the filling:  Butter a 10" deep-dish pie plate (or similar 3 qt. dish) and set it aside.  Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat oven to 375.

2.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot, about 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and pork and cook, breaking up large chunks, until no longer pink and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.  Add the onion and jalapeño and cook until just softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and salt and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes with their juice along with the black beans and corn.  Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the oregano and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

3.  For the crust:  Bring the water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed, large saucepan over high heat.  Add the salt and then slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, until the cornmeal begins to soften and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.  

4. To assemble:  Spread two-thirds of the cornmeal mixture (about 2 1/2 cups) over the bottom and up the sides of the buttered pie plate.  Place the lid back on top of the pan with the remaining cornmeal mixture to prevent from drying out.  Spoon the beef mixture evenly into the dish and sprinkle with the cheese.  Spread the remaining cornmeal mixture evenly on top of the cheese, spreading it out to the edges of the pie plate to seal in the filling.

5.  To bake:  Bake until the crust has set and the pie is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove the pie plate from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  

To Freeze/Serve:  Assemble and freeze uncooked.  Thaw, bringing back to room temperature before baking and bake according to recipe directions.

*Note:  When spreading cornmeal mixture in pie plate to create crust, work quickly so that it is easier to spread... if it cools too much it is hard to spread.  

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

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