Sep 27, 2012

A House Divided Game Day Chili Pie

This weekend is a big one in our household.  Between the hours of 3:30-7:30 very little words will be spoken regarding the matter at hand.

Football.  The University of Georgia Bulldogs versus the University of Tennessee Volunteers.  As an East Tennesse girl, born and raised, I cheer on the Big Orange with spirit and enthusiasm.  Except for one weekend a year.  A weekend filled with torn loyalties and love for my alma mater.  I tend to go neutral for the game, and enjoy friends and food.  But thinking of Athens and the wild weekend about to begin there . . .sigh.  I just love UGA with all my heart.

However, since I also love my husband with all my heart, I will keep sentiments praising the glory of the University of Georgia to myself this weekend.  I mean, I don't want to rub salt in his wounds, right? (hunker down you hairy dawgs).

Okay, back to the food.

So, if your household is anything like mine, between Labor Day weekend and the first weekend of December, there is a good possibility that unexpected guests will appear and remain for 4-6 hours. They will come armed with bourbon and beer.  Lots of it.  But people got to eat.

So have this in your freezer.  Stick it in the oven in the first quarter, and you will have a happy crew come halftime.  Tamale pie- basically a spicy beef chili topped with a cornbread crust.  Whether you are a Dawg or a Vol, we all can agree that this is a perfect game watching meal.

From the always reliable Cooks Illustrated, Freezer Friendly Beef Tamale Pie

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn (don't thaw)
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro  leaves
4 teaspoon juice from 2 limes
cornbread topping (2 6.5-8.5 ounce packages of cornbread mix- get Southern style with no sugar- sweet cornbread, blech) Mix according to package directions

1.  Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add the beef and cook, until it is no longer pink, about five minutes.  Break up the meat as you cook it.  Stir in the onion, 1 teaspoon slat and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the spices, and garlic, and tomato paste and cook about a minute.

2.  Stir in the diced tomatoes with their jounces, scraping up any browned bits.  Off the heat, stir in the beans, corn, cheese, cilantro, lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Transfer the beef mixture to a 9x13 dish or 2 8x8 dishes.  Spread the cornmeal topping evenly over the beef mixture, pushing it to the edges of the baking dish.

To store:
Wrap the tightly with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray and then foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze.

To serve:
Adjust an oven rack to a middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Unwrap the dish.  If refrigerated, bake, uncovered, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is baked through and golden, 50-60 minutes.  If frozen, unwrap the dish and let the casserole sit at room temp for 30 minutes while the oven heats, then cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes,  Remove the foil and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is baked through and golden- 50-60 minutes.

And by the way- Go Dawgs! Sic 'em, woof woof woof!

1 comment:

  1. Made this recipe last night for my husband! He LOVED it! Thanks for sharing!


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