FOR THE TAMALE FILLING:
- 1 T. canola or vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I use 85/15 fat content)
- 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, do not drain
- 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from can
- 2 T. purchase mole paste (If new, the paste will be hard with liquid on top. Stir with patience or you will have oil slopped all over your counter)
- 1 T. ground cumin
- 1/2 c. sliced black olives
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 c. chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
FOR THE cornbread TOPPING:
- 1 c. plus 2 T. fine ground cornmeal
- 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
- 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3/4 c. corn kernels
- 2 T. unsalted butter, melted
- Make the filling: Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Add the oil and onion and saute until the onion is golden, 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then add the meat and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spatula. Using a large spoon, skim the fat from the pan, leaving 1 to 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.
- Add the green pepper, black beans, tomatoes, chipotles, adobe sauce, mole and cumin; bring to a boil, stirring to blend, Stir in the olives, salt and pepper. Stir in cilantro and 1 cup of cheese. Keep the filling warm as you prepare the topping.
- Make the cornbread topping: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and eggs; stir them into dry ingredients until blended. Add the corn and butter, and mix well.
- When the cornbread batter is ready, spread it over the meat using a large spoon. Cover the surface and smooth the top with a slightly wet metal spatula, or even your finger.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then sprinkle on the remaining cheese, and return the pie to the oven. Bake until the top is lightly browned, a toothpick inserted into the crust comes out clean and the filling is bubbling up on the sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving with a large spoon.
Total Time: 55 Minutes