A few weeks B.C. (Before Charlie), my dear sister-in-law stocked our freezer. She handed over a tote bag full of homemade frozen meals as her baby gift to us. Among the foil-wrapped containers there was one labeled “Tamale Pie.” Curious, I stashed it in the freezer and waited for the busy day on which we would need to use it.
Weeks later, exhausted from being up with a baby all night and chasing a toddler around all day, I popped it in the oven for dinner. The smells of Mexican spices and sweet corn began wafting from the oven. Eating it was even better—spicy ground beef, peppers and onions were all topped off with a layer of light, crunchy cornbread. If this was tamale pie, I thought, I wanted more of it.
I set out to make a sort of “ultimate” version with pulled pork slathered in a spicy barbecue sauce. Barbecue and cornbread were made for each other. I’m a fan of Stubb’s, but homemade or another brand work just as well (and if you make your own barbecue sauce, send me a bottle? Please?).
Marinate a pork shoulder roast in the barbecue sauce, then cook in the Crock Pot. Shred the meat.
Next, you’ll need fire-roasted tomatoes, cornbread mix, peppers (orange, yellow, and poblano), a sweet onion, chili powder, cumin, and kosher salt. Oh, and one handsy toddler lurking in the background.
And she’s got it.
Saute the onion and poblano pepper in a bit of oil until tender.
Add the bell peppers and spices, saute a bit more…
…and finish with the tomatoes. Check the spices and make sure everything is to your liking.
Assemble the cornbread (my favorite $0.53 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix requires milk and eggs, but yours may be different).
To the cornbread batter, add corn (frozen or canned is fine) and sharp cheddar cheese (or your favorite variety—pepperjack would be great as well).
Stir together the pork with the pepper/onion mixture and spread into the bottom of two 9″ pie plates or one 9×13″ rectangular baking pan.
Top with the cornbread mixture…
…and bake until golden.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream. A frosty margarita on the side is also mandatory.
This has become one of my new, go-to comfort meals. There is something soothing about these classic flavors, and since the recipe makes a large batch you can enjoy this meal for several dinners or stash half in your freezer for a hectic day. Kisses to my sis-in-law Becky for introducing me to this crazy wonderful dish (and for stocking our freezer!). Make this for yourself or for some lucky parents-to-be soon.
Tamale Pie with BBQ Pulled Pork Click here for printable version
If you’re using another brand of cornbread mix, omit the eggs and milk and follow the directions on the package. Makes 1 rectangular 9×13″ pie or 2 round 9″ pies.
Inactive Prep Time: 12-24 hours for marinating pork, 7-8 hours for cooking pork.
Active Prep Time: 25 minutes.
Bake Time: 25-30 minutes.
- 3 lb pork shoulder roast
- 1 c barbecue sauce, divided
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 c milk
- 2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 c corn kernels (frozen or canned is fine)
- sour cream for serving
1. Rinse pork roast and pat dry. Place in a large Ziploc bag and cover with 1/2c of the barbecue sauce. Refrigerate 12-24 hours.
2. Transfer pork roast with marinade into bowl of slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Remove pork, shred, and stir in remaining 1/2 c barbecue sauce. Set aside.
3. Dice sweet onion. Seed and dice poblano pepper and bell peppers.
4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and poblano pepper and saute 3-4 minutes, until onion begins to become translucent. Add bell peppers, salt, chili powder and cumin. Saute 5 minutes more. Add fire roasted tomatoes and continue to saute 5 minutes more or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in shredded pork. Check seasoning.
5. Preheat oven to 400F. Combine corn muffin mix, eggs, milk, cheese and corn in a large bowl and mix to combine. Grease one 9×13″ baking dish or two 9″ pie plates. Spread the pork mixture into the bottom of the pan and spread the cornbread mixture evenly on top*. Bake for 25-30 minutes (may take slightly longer in large rectangular pan) until cornbread is cooked through and slightly golden on top. Serve topped with sour cream.
*NOTE: Can be covered and frozen unbaked. Bake from frozen at 400F for 45 min-1 hr or until cornbread is done.