I think there may be as many versions of tamale pie as there are cooks in the kitchen. I'm not sure I even knew what it was until I moved to the sunny southwest but I've made up for lost time over the past several years. There's several different versions on this site but as you all know I'm always game for trying new recipes.
To twig your memory, the first edition has kind of a chile style base with cornbread on top while the second version's made from leftover shredded pork carnitas. The third one included a flavorful filling surrounded by layers of oh so creamy polenta. The point is there's no right or wrong way to make a tamale pie.
Last night's version inspired once again by the Cast Iron Cookbook, is more like a picadillo in that it includes sliced green olives and sweet golden raisins along with black beans and ground beef. The salty sweet flavor is balanced by lots of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce to say nothing of the Tapatio hot sauce I used for added heat.
It is delicious and a good thing too because there's enough leftover to feed the entire neighborhood. I'll be sending some off with the Big Guy tonight as he rejoins his huntin' partner John in their quest for the ever elusive javalina. Surely that will bring them some luck, don't ya think?
Tamale Pie (adapted from Cast Iron Cookbook)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 -15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 – 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 canned chipotle chiles chopped with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon Tapatio hot sauce (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup spicy barbecue sauce
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used jalapeno cheddar)
Heat large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add olive oil and when shimmering add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion begins to soften, stirring often to prevent garlic from burning. Crumble in ground beef and cook until beef is no longer pink. Add bell pepper, black beans, tomatoes, chipotle, hot sauce, cumin, barbecue sauce and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a high simmer then add green olives and raisins. Keep warm while making cornbread topping.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarse ground cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup corn kernels, drained (I used canned)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Preheat oven to 375. Mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl combine eggs, buttermilk and oil and beat until well combined. Add liquid to dry ingredients along with corn kernels and mix until well combined. Sprinkle half the grated cheese over filling in pot and pour cornmeal mixture on top, smoothing surface with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese has melted and topping is set (about 5 to 10 minutes). Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa on the side. Makes 8 servings
A year ago - Buckets of Lemons
Two year's ago - Roast Pork Loin with an Apple Crown
Three year's ago - Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus