Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours
Baking time: 45min - 1 hr.
Tamale pie really is a simple dinner to make. The taste of tamales without all the labor involved of actually making them. Fillings can be pretty much whatever you have in the kitchen and your kids will love it too (at least ours did).
Ingredient list for the tamale crust:
3 cups or 1 pound organic masa harina
3 cups organic broth
6 oz. (3/4 cup) organic cold lard or any type of fat that suits your diet
2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 teaspoons of organic baking powder
Combine the masa and the broth together and mix completely. It should have the consistency of hummus when done. We used bone broth but you can use vegetable both, beef broth, low sodium chicken broth, or even just plain water.
In a separate bowl add the cold lard, salt, and baking soda together and whip with a hand mixer for about 1 minute until it is light and fluffy. One of the great things about this recipe is it is fully customizable; vegan, vegetarian, carnivore.
Mix the fat into the masa dough a little at a time until it is well incorporated. Cover and put into the fridge for about 1 hour. This last step is important because it gives the dough a chance to fully hydrate and creates a tender dough. Also if you choose not to use the baking soda your dough will be denser.
Two 15 oz. cans of prepared black beans
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of any other item you want to use. The sky's the limit. We used 1 cup of fermented cortido but you can use whatever you have or want. Need some ideas? Corn, cheese, mild peppers (skinned and seeded), zuchinni, meat, yam or sweet potato, etc.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of fat or oil in a pan on medium high heat and add the onions. Saute onions for about 3 minutes then add the garlic for another minute. Turn down the heat and add the beans and 1 cup of your 'other' ingredient. If you are using Cortido give it a squeeze to remove excess moisture then chop it up a little on the cutting board and add to the bean mix and remove the pan from the heat.
Pre-heat oven to 375
Remove the masa from the fridge and uncover. Re-whip the masa to return it to it's humus like state before it went into the fridge. Take out a 12 inch cast iron skillet, 3 qt. baking dish, or 12 inch oven proof pan pan and grease with a little of the fat you are using. Take about 2/3 rds of the masa dough and slowly work it into the pan forming a nice crust for your filling.
Clean the edges of the pan and fill with your filling. You should use all of it but if you find there is a bit too much you can put it into the fridge and use it for another meal.
Now it's time to make the top crust. We used two pieces of parchment paper for this job. Take the remaining masa out of the bowl and loosely form it into a ball. Place it on the parchment paper and start forming a disc for the top crust using your fingers. At some point you will want to put another layer of parchment paper over the crust and use your hands to form an even, round disc that loosely fits the top of your tamale pie.
Once you have the basic size and shape of your pie gently place the crust on top of your pie and seem the edges together using your fingers. Do not push hard on the crust as the filling is still warm and will give a little.
Place the pie into the 375 degree pre-heated oven and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. the crust should be a light golden brown and the edges should be starting to brown a little. Using a potholder remove the pie from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. slice into appropriate sized pieces and serve and garnish with whatever you like, we used avacado, cilantro, and sour cream! Tasty!!!