Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chili Casserole

(6 servings)


I have no idea why they call this casserole, "Tamale Pie". This dish doesn't taste like tamales at all, instead it's a very delicious and satisfying combination of chili and cornbread; perfect for a cool fall or winter evening.

A word of caution. I used dried New Mexico chili for this which generally is considered to be relatively mild. On occasion they seem hotter than usual, as was this batch. I used four pods and the finished dish was "medium-hot" with a slow burn on the back of my tongue. The cornbread topping and sour cream tamed the heat somewhat, and overall I found it "pleasant". You can decrease or increase the amount of chili pods as desired.

filling
2-6 dried New Mexico chili pods
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tsp oil
3/4 lb extra lean ground pork
3/4 lb extra lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
one 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup beef broth or tomato juice
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

topping
1 cup fine cornmeal
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 ear corn, shucked
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg


garnish
sour cream
sliced green onion

Remove the stems from the chili pods and place into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until you  have very small pieces.  Place the chili into a small bowl and add the garlic. Pour the boiling water over the mixture and soak about 30 minutes.


Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet or pot with a lid. Fry the pork and beef until it is browned, then stir in the onions. Cook until they are translucent, then stir in the bell pepper. Cook another 5 minutes.


Stir in the reserved chili pod, garlic and water mixture, diced tomatoes, broth or juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer covered, over a low flame for about 30 minutes.

When the meat mixture is almost ready, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Combine the cornmeal, cheese (reserve a small amount of cheese to sprinkle on top), corn, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl whisk together the milk and egg. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well combined. Set aside.


When the meat mixture is ready, spoon it evenly into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Top with the cornmeal mixture and smooth that out as much as possible with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top.

Bake for 35-50 minutes or until the top has nicely browned and the chili is bubbling hot.


Garnish with sour cream and sliced green onions.

1 comment:

Mary Callan said...

Sounds absolutely wonderful - I've just had dinner but I now want another one - this! GREAT flavors :)
Mary x

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