RECIPE

Beef and Pork Tamale Pie

Mexican herbs and spices added to browned ground pork and sirloin simmered in a beer and beef broth results in a tangy tamale pie covered with cheesy polenta. Cool and save the meat mixture and add the polenta when ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons seeded chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus a couple spoonfuls of sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a scant palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander (a scant palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 bottle Mexican beer (12 ounces), such as Negra Modelo
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • About 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 generous tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or smoked cheddar cheese

Preparation

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork and sirloin and brown. Add the onion, garlic, chipotle, adobo sauce, cumin, coriander, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes to soften the bits of onion. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beer and scrape up the drippings. Add the beef stock and heat through to combine the flavors, then cool completely and store for a make-ahead meal.

The night you would like to serve the pie, reheat the meat in an ovensafe skillet over medium heat while you make the quick-cooking polenta.


Pre-heat the broiler.


Heat the chicken stock and milk to a boil, then whisk in the polenta and cook until thick, 3 minutes. Cook’s Note: The polenta needs to be very thick.


Stir in the butter and honey and season with salt and coarse black pepper. Spread the thick polenta in an even layer over the tamale filling. Top the polenta with cheese and brown under the broiler.

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