January 21st, 2015
Archive for Main Dishes
For our Christmas dinner a year ago, my husband asked me to serve Mexican food. After thinking about it for awhile, I thought maybe it would be a good time for me to make homemade tamales. I had never made them before, and I was sort of excited about it. I went to a Mexican grocery store and bought dried corn husks, and I made the traditional masa dough. My mother and I worked for a long time spreading the masa dough onto the presoaked corn husks, adding the filling, wrapping the corn husks, and then steaming them. It was A LOT of work, and while we were working away, my mom said, “These can’t possibly be worth all this work!” I agreed, but then when we sat down to dinner, everybody loved them, and my mom said, “I think they ARE worth it!” But I had already come up with an idea. I wanted to transform the tamales into a casserole—not the kind of tamale casserole that’s covered with cornbread. That just wouldn’t do. I wanted my tamale casserole to taste like real tamales, and so I planned on using the masa dough in the casserole. You shouldn’t have to go to a Mexican market for the masa flour. In my grocery store, it is right near the regular flour. This is the brand I purchased.
This is a layered casserole, and the first layer is half of the masa dough pressed into a 9×13 pan. You top that with the pork filling.
Then you spread the remaining masa dough on top of the pork filling. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the casserole from the oven and pour the sauce on top. Bake uncovered for another 20 minutes.
Add 2 cups of cheese to the top and bake for another 5 minutes. This Tamale Casserole is awesome, and it would be even better served with my Spanish Rice. Enjoy!
A Winner Dinners Original Recipe
2 pounds of pork loin
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons oil
1-1/3 cups onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 chiles in adobo sauce (from a can), finely chopped
1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced olives, drained
1 (14-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce
2 tablespoons flour
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups masa flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 (14-ounce) can beef broth
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons flour
1 (14-ounce) can beef broth
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or a cheddar mix)
sour cream and chopped cilantro leaves (optional garnish)
Cut the pork into 6 pieces and place in a pot with the bay leaves. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 2 hours. Remove pork from broth, let cool, and then shred it. Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions and garlic. Add the shredded pork and the remaining ingredients and cook for about 5 more minutes or until heated through. Set aside.
To make the masa dough, whip the butter until fluffy. Blend in the masa flour, salt, chili powder, and broth until the dough holds together well.
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9×13 casserole dish and then press half of the masa dough into the bottom of the pan. Cover with the pork filling, and then carefully spread the remaining masa dough on top of the pork filling. It works best if you place spoonfulls of the masa dough all over the casserole, and then use a knife to spread them into a smooth layer. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, heat the oil and add the flour, cooking for about a minute. Slowly add the beef broth, whisking to mix well. Add the spices and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to simmer. Add the cheese and evaporated milk and continue to simmer for about five minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, pour the sauce on top and bake uncovered for another 20 minutes.
Remove the casserole from the oven again, add the 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into squares. If desired, top individual servings with sour cream and chopped cilantro leaves.