Fully Loaded Vegetable Tamale Pot Pie

Admittedly this recipe is a little time consuming but totally worth every minute.  It combines two of my favorite things, tamales and pot pies.  You can go traditional pot pie by topping it with rich, buttery gravy or take it mexican by pairing it with your favorite sides and sauces.  Either way I think you will agree, this filling comfort food dish is a true genius mash up.  Make some!

Fully Loaded Vegetable Tamale Pot Pie

Tamale "Crust"
4 Cups Masa Harina (Corn Flour)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Stick Vegan Butter (1/2 Cup)
1/8 Cup (any) Oil
3 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1 teaspoon finely ground Black Pepper
Parchment Paper
Alluminum Foil

2 Russet Potatoes
2 Carrots
2 Ribs Celery
1/2 Red Onion
1/2 Cup Green Peas (frozen or canned is fine)
8 Button Mushrooms
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
Additional Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Dash of any oil for sauteeing mushrooms)

Reserved liquid from boiled vegetables
1 to 2 Cups Vegetable Broth (depending how much reserved liquid you have)
4 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
4 Tablespoons Flour
Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Begin by finely chopping potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots.  Put all in a pot of water with 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt and bring to a boil.  Cook just until potatoes are tender and strain (reserving liquid for later use in gravy).  Set vegetable mixture aside.  Slice mushrooms into thin slices.  In another saute pan, heat a little oil and saute mushrooms with a little salt until golden brown.  Set aside.

Tamale "Crust":
Time to make the Tamale "Crust".  In a large bowl combine Masa Harina, Salt, Pepper and Baking Powder.  Melt butter and add to Masa mixture.  Add oil and stir to combine.  Lastly add vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, stirring gently to incorporate until combined.  Set aside.

Time to assemble your pot pie!  Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Farenheit.  In a very large casserole dish place a peice of parchment paper larger than the dish so it fills dish and comes up the sides.  

Spoon half the Masa mixture into dish on top of parchment.  Spread mixture so you have one even layer about 3/4 inch thick.  Top with mushrooms, peas and vegetable mixture.  Press down slightly.  

Put remaining Masa mixture on top and press down into one even layer.  It helps if you wet your hands and do this.  

Don't worry if a few vegetables are peaking through.  Just do your best.  You are basically creating one giant tamale and it doesn't have to be perfect!  It is fine to "smoosh" the vegetables in between the layers.  Finally bring up the sides of parchment that were hanging over and fold a top casserole like a present.  

Use another peice of parchment to ensure top is covered and touching parchment on all sides.  Secure top with tin foil.  This creates a steam pocket for your masterpiece to cook.

Okay time to cook!  Put casserole dish on a large sheet tray and place in oven.  Pour water on sheet tray so it helps your tamale stay moist while steaming.  Be sure to check every 30 minutes while cooking and replenish water bath as needed.  Bake for at least 90 minutes.  Turn off oven and leave it in there for another 15 minutes.  You can check doneness (careful, it's steamy in there) by checking if the Masa has "set" and is no longer "wet".  Do NOT overcook because it will come out dry.  

Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Keep in mind the Masa will continue to cook/set even after it has been removed from oven.  

In a large sauce pan melt vegan butter over medium heat and add flour.   Whisk to combine and cook until golden.  Add broth and reserved liquid 1 cup at a time.  Add salt and pepper.  Bring to a gentle boil while whisking and then reduce to a simmer.  Taste test for seasoning levels.  Keep covered until ready to serve.  

Cooking times of tamale pot pie may vary based on individual ovens.

Serving suggestion:  serve with gravy and fresh chopped parsley.  If you want to go more traditional Mexican serve this pie alongside some pinto beans and your favorite salsa or hot sauce.  For example, check out my Arbol Fire Sauce recipe for inspiration.  Enjoy!!

Make it Mexican by topping it with this yumminess....

Arbol Fire Sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 red hot chili (dried or fresh with stem removed)
2 cups water
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all in your high speed blender and then warm in a sauce pan for serving. Be sure to cover your blender with a towel and keep your hand on the top to avoid a tomato explosion in your kitchen. Trust me on this one. Serve immediately with your tamale cake and store any unused portion in refrigerator in a tightly sealed glass vessel for up to one week. ENJOY.

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