The community association potluck is tomorrow. I thought I'd get a head start by cooking up what I could ahead of time. I said I'd make my hot tamale pie, which is usually a big hit at potlucks; but it does involve some prep work.
I meant to buy chili powder but forgot. Not wanting to lose my momentum, I used a tbsp of chipotle chili powder. Needless to say, I'll be starting over tomorrow morning. I like things to have a bit of a kick, but I don't think my cooking should be so spicy that it knocks people on their asses.
Hot Tamale Pie with Chili Cornmeal Crust
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1lb lean ground beef
1lb Spicy sausage, removed from casing (I used Chorizo Sausage)
2 Onions, finely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, Optional (I include this, but remove the seeds)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 cup ketchup
1 398mL can refried beans
1 cup beef stock
1 ½ cups corn kernels
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup milk
¼ cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 127mL can chopped mild green chilies, including juice
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef or bison and sausage, in batches, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Drain all but 1 tbsp liquid from the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, carrots and celery to pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Add jalapeño pepper, if using, chili powder, cumin seeds, oregano, and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in ketchup and refried beans, breaking up beans with a spoon until they are well integrated into mixture. Add stock and corn and bring to boil.
- Transfer to slow cooker stoneware and stir well
- Topping: In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. Add milk, butter and egg and mix until just blended with dry ingredients. Stir in cheese and chilies. Spread mixture evenly over the filling. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours (It seems to work better for me on high) until top is risen and crusty and meat mixture is bubbling and hot.
Make Ahead Tip: this dish can be partially prepared in the night before it is cooked. Complete steps 1 and 2. Cover and refrigerate cooked meat separately from vegetable mixture. The next morning, continue cooking as directed in step 3.