My Cook: Carnitas-Tamale Shepherd’s Pie

February 3, 2019
- Pork,

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Shepherd’s Pie is a classic comfort dish hailing from the British Isles. This dish is usually made with ground lamb, carrots, and peas, and topped with mashed potatoes. We decided to switch things up and put a Mexican spin on this classic dish by combining Tamal de Cazuela (affectionately known as Tamale Pie) with Shepherd’s Pie. Pork carnitas and black beans take the place of the lamb and veggies, and instead of mashed potatoes we subbed in a tamale filling for the topping with a sprinkle of cheese that helps mimic the crispness of the broiled mashed potatoes. Be sure to check out our Carnitas Tacos recipe as this dish is a great way to use up leftover carnitas (although we can’t blame you if you eat it all in one sitting).

Ingredients

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  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pork fat (reserved from the carnitas recipe)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup shredded carnitas (from our carnitas tacos recipe)
  • 1 can black beans and liquid
  • ½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack)

For the salsa

  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 lime
  • small bunch fresh cilantro

Instructions

In a large bowl combine the masa, salt, and baking powder.

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Add the fat (if you reserved the fat from the carnitas it will have the most flavor, otherwise use vegetable shortening or vegetable oil) and the warm water. Use a spoon or whisk to slowly mix the liquid into the masa until it is fully combined, then beat the mixture for about 1 minute until smooth.

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Set aside to rest (this will help the masa absorb more of the liquid) while you prepare the filling.

Add the beans and their liquid to a bowl, mash the beans with a fork until you get a smooth texture that is slightly chunky. Shred the carnitas with a fork and then mix into the bean mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Add the carnitas and bean mixture to the bottom of the pan. Spread into and even layer.

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Dollop large spoonfuls of the tamale mixture down the middle of the pan on top of the pork and beans.

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Carefully use a spoon to spread the tamale out to the edges of the pan. Load into Suvie and cook. (Note: If you are using a delayed start cover the pan with aluminum foil to prevent the tamale mixture from drying out).

Slow Cook Settings

Protein: LOW, 2 hr

Starch: 0 min

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While the tamale pie is cooking prepare the salsa. Dice the tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeno. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the juice of ½ a lime and chopped cilantro to taste.

Once the cook is finished remove the foil.

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Top with shredded cheese and return to Suvie.

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Broil for 7 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and browned. Serve with the salsa and a lime wedge. Enjoy!

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Wine Pairing

Fortunately, pork works equally well when paired with white, red, and sparkling wines. For this meal we recommend either a Sauvignon Blanc, a Cabernet Franc, a dry Rosé, or a Cava if you prefer your wine bubbly.

Dan Snedeker