Tamales are one of Mexico’s specialties and enjoyed in most Latino countries. In Mexico tamales are considered a ‘must have’ for Christmas Eve and the preparation is a huge party event . Our Chipotle Pulled Pork Tamale Pie is a jazzed up version of those tamales and it is just as delicious even when it isn’t Christmas Eve.
Traditional tamales are constructed with pieces of dried cornhusks that have been moistened, then smeared with a thick corn dough called masa. A filling is added on top of the dough and it is folded up into a small package and tied with a strip of corn husk. They are usually steamed or grilled and the small package makes it portable and convenient to eat. The filling can be made of meat and cheese or a wide variety of fillings, including fruits. They are usually served with spicy salsa, guacamole or sour cream.
Tamale pie is a less time-intensive version of the famous tamale but it is just as delicious. We used cornmeal as the base and crust with a filling of chipotle pulled pork, fresh roasted poblano peppers, chipotle salsa, black beans and shredded pepper jack cheese. You can get the recipe for the chipotle pulled pork here.
We couldn’t resist buying these fresh, huge poblano peppers which we char-roasted in the oven, then peeled and seeded them. They take just a short time to prepare and worth the effort of charing them. But you could certainly substitute canned poblanos for convenience.
The cornmeal was prepared and a portion of it was spread into the bottom of an eight-inch cast iron skillet and baked just ten minutes to firm up. The chipotle pork filling, the chopped poblanos, spicy pepper jack cheese and canned black beans was layered over the partially baked crust.
The remaining cornmeal was spread on the top, sprinkled with cheese and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve this spicy chipotle pulled pork tamale pie with lime wedges, sour cream and salsa. Enjoy! 🙂
Chipotle Pulled Pork Tamale Pie
Our recipe for Chipotle Pulled Pork Tamale Pie has a cornbread crust and a filling of spicy chipotle pulled pork, fresh roasted poblano peppers, chipotle salsa, black beans and shredded pepper jack cheese.
- 3-4 fresh poblano peppers *See Notes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups Chipotle Pulled Pork
- 1 cup chipotle salsa *See Notes
- 1 can black beans (14.5 oz), drained and rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (a 10-ounce chunk)
- 2 cups medium grind cornmeal (240 grans)
- 1/2 cup flour (60 grams)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Fresh lime wedges
- Sour Cream
- 1 egg
- 1 can (14.5 oz) cream style corn
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
- Preheat oven to broil
- Brush the peppers with one tablespoon of the olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Broil 10-12 minutes until charred on all sides, turning with tongs. Transfer to bowl, cover, and let steam 15 minutes. Rub off skins with a paper towel and remove stems and seeds. Cut peppers into 1-inch pieces and reserve.
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and when it is hot but not smoking add the onion, cook for 3-5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the pulled pork and the salsa, stirring to combine, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while preparing the cornmeal crust.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg, cream style corn, milk and butter. Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring until well combined.
- Add 1/2 of the cornmeal mixture to the bottom of an 8-inch cast iron skillet, spreading to the edge. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes until set.
- To assemble:
- Scatter 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the baked bottom crust. Layer the pulled pork mixture, the chilies, beans and another 1 cup of cheese.
- Spoon the remaining cornmeal mixture over top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Transfer the skillet to the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. *See Notes
- 3 cans poblano peppers, 7 oz. each may be substituted for the fresh roasted poblanos.
- Add additional salsa if necessary to moisten the filling.
- Cover the pie with a piece of foil if it appears to be over browning.