Green Chile Tamale Pie

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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1 cup masa harina
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces ground sirloin
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces tomatillos (about 8 small), chopped
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco or sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine the masa harina, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and ground red pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Add 1 cup boiling water to masa mixture, and stir until a soft dough forms. Cover until ready to use.

Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan swirl to coat. Add beef to pan cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, garlic, poblano chile, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to pan. Sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Add tomatillos and lima beans to pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add butter and baking powder to masa mixture, stirring until smooth. Dollop batter over filling, and spread into an even layer. Cover pan with foil and bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned around edges. Remove from oven and let stand 3 minutes. Sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco or sour cream and cilantro.

Serves 4-6.

From Cooking Light.