Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tamale Pie

Here's the first of the ground beef recipes I've got queued. I didn't know Tamale Pie was something that a lot of people knew about. I'd never heard of it before and had no expectations on what it should be like. Really, I was intrigued because it was a use for masa harina aside from corn tortillas.

Tamale Pie
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

2 tbsp olive oil
2 c chopped onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 lb. ground beef (85% to 90% lean)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 c chicken stock
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c diced fresh green Anaheim chiles (2 chiles)
1/4 c masa harina
1 tbsp cider vinegar

2 tbsp butter, melted
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 c yellow cornmeal
1 c sour cream
1 (8-oz.) can cream style corn
1 tbsp baking powder

Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat oil in deep large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook and stir onions 4 minutes or until soft.

Stir in garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Reduce heat to medium. Stir in chili powder and cumin; stir 1 minute or until onions are well-coated and spices become fragrant.

Stir in beef, salt and pepper, breaking up with side of large spoon (try to keep it in 1/2-inch chunks). Cook 5 minutes, stirring gently.

Add broth, tomatoes and chiles. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 20 minutes.

Combine masa harina, vinegar and 1/2 cup of the liquid from meat mixture in small bowl.

Stir into skillet; cook 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened.

Place in baking dish. (Recipe can be made to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Heat oven to 400°F.

Pour melted butter into medium bowl; stir in 1 1/4 cups of the cheese and all remaining topping ingredients.

Spread topping over filling; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden-brown. (If baked directly from refrigerator, it may take a bit longer.)

This is interesting. It's good but not amazing. I'm sort of baffled by this since Aidells' recipes are usually out of this effing world. Blame is fully placed on the corn selection.

Kidding aside, the casserole is nicely flavored with chiles - be sure not to skimp on those. The seasonings aren't crazy, complimenting the beef and chiles well. I'm not sure why the cheese looks like a big Cheetos meltdown. It tasted good.

Technically simple, the most annoying part was trying to spread the just adequate quantity of topping evenly across the entire 9x13", over hot beef mixture. Fortunately, the Cheetos-esque cheese masked the minor gaps. And those gaps were not noticeable when the servings were consumed.

You'd think that maybe this one would be a dish that might languish in the fridge. But nope, I ate all of it. It was one of those things that I didn't look forward to eating but when I did was glad I had it to eat. Interesting.

TOTAL: $11.30 or about $1.41 for each of 8 servings.