Tamale Pie

Large Pot
10-inch Cast Iron Skillet or Casserole Dish


Preheat oven to 425º F. Grease the skillet with lard.


In another large skillet over medium heat, saute the ground beef and ground Mexican chorizo until nicely browned. Transfer to a bowl or sheet pan and set aside, reserving two tablespoons of fat in the skillet. Add lard if needed to have the two tablespoons of fat.


Over medium heat, add chile powder, cumin, onion, jalepeño, and bell pepper. Cook until onion is translucent and takes an amber color, about 15 minutes. Be patient and let the onion develop flavor.


Add black beans and corn, tomato sauce, and broth. Add back the ground meat. Cook over medium heat to reduce liquid by a quarter, about six minutes. Set aside.


In a food processor, pulse cornmeal until finely ground, about one minute.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the finely ground cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk, and melted butter. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.


In the reserved greased skillet, add a third of the batter. Cover with meat mixture. Top with the remaining batter.


Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, until cornmeal confirms a golden crust. Enjoy with a glass of rosé or Chardonnay.
  • Lard for greasing and as needed; see note in instructions below
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound Mexican chorizo (Mexican chorizo resembles ground beef; do not use the hard Spanish chorizo)
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalepeño, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (some say green is traditional; mom used red)
  • 1 cup prepared/cooked black beans (soak and cook or, if you like, use canned, rinsed)
  • 1 cup corn kernels, removed from about two husks
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Cook's Notes

Eggplant dip is a form of comfort food. It is casual, something you can put out with sliced, raw vegetables or pita chips.

Roast it over a flame to give it a smoky flavor, flavor with fruity olive oil and bright Meyer lemons, and pressing through a tamis creates a smooth, silky, tangy spread you can use to top blini. At this point I think it is safe to say we now have eggplant dip’s sophisticated, Trans-Continental cousin visiting from prep school, Aubergine.

This aubergine spread is satisfying, surprisingly simple, and packed with flavor. Serve on fresh griddled buckwheat blini and a little Gentleman Farmer Napa Valley Chardonnay.