Last year we became more consistent with our Mexican meals, because we feel even more deeply in love with our Mexican food while on a family holiday to LA where there’s incredible Mexican food EVERYWHERE (For cheap eats, in a little pocket of beach-town heaven: Hermosa Beach near the airport “La Playita” or for a posh, so-hot-right-now modern Mexican, the vegan restaurant Gracias Madre. SO. YUM.) First we started Taco Tuesdays, but – as per usual with me – it felt restrictive to just do tacos and variations on the theme, so we switched the day of the week and do Mexican Mondays. Which, as I type this I’ve just realised today was Monday and we had a very NON Mexican curried veg soup and cauliflower cake. The point is though, usually it IS Mondays and very Mexican and it’s meant coming up with a few different things as well as learning more about Mexican food culture – their sauces, spice mixes and techniques.
Now, over the years you have come to know my mid week dinner inventions as adventurous as much as they are also very SIMPLE. I am a huge fan of single pot cooking and I wanted to do something that wasn’t wrapped in a taco, but a taco ‘top’. And then I though, well that won’t work it’ll break and go soggy, so then I came up with a hot cake textured top idea, BUT with a Mexican vibe. It may sound strange, but what eventuated was this: A mince + beans + veggie base covered in a Mexican hot cake mixture. And it’s comforting, easy and yummy.
I’ve made it 3 times now because I’m a big fan of steering you towards a winner and being absolutely sure it’s great. You can switch out the pork for chicken or beef or triple the black beans if you want a meat free version. You can leave out the greens or switch with zucchini. Don’t be too rigid and just use what you have as long as the general gist is there. The top obviously though does need those proportions and textures to be right.
I hope it brings you some delicious mid week comfort. Perfect for a family of 6, or our little family of 3 with a lunch for me and two lunchbox hot-pot reheats for the little man.
Mexican pork and black bean pie
- 2 cups roughly chopped purple onion
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or ghee
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried or fine chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 clove garlic
- 500 g minced pork
- 1 cup cooked black beans either soak 2/3 cup black beans in water and a tbsp lemon juice for 12 hours and simmer for 1.5 hours, OR buy a BPA / BPS free tin of cooked black beans such as global organics or EDEN foods brands
- 1 1/2 cup tomato passata I love passata over tinned tomatoes, to avoid aluminium or potential BPA / BPS tin lining leaching, as tomatoes are acidic and leaching potential increases. Glass passata jars are great and PERFECT for stock / broth storage thereafter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro / coriander
- 1/2 cup cup scallions / spring onion, fine chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp smoky hot sauce (optional but wow it makes it for the adults... use separately on your helping if you have kids who can't hack spice.
- 1 corn cobb, kernels chopped off
- 1 cup cavolo nero, collard greens or baby spinach whatever is in season or available where you are
The pie top
- 1 cup masa harina (rough corn flour with lime (not starch!)
- 1/2 cup goat's yoghurt (sub with any other yoghurt you prefer)
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour (or rice / buckwheat / sorghum)
- 1 egg whisk in a mug before adding to the bowl
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup scallions / spring onions, fine chopped
- 1/2 cup fine chopped coriander / cilantro
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional) Not necessary but if your house is a cheesy top house and has no dairy issues, then feel free to add.
The pie filling
- Sauté onions in your olive oil/ghee until well softened and starting to brown then add the dry spices - paprika/oregano/rosemary for 1 minute until it becomes super fragrant.
- Add the garlic and pork mince and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mince is starting to brown a little
- Add the tomato passata, black beans, water, scallion/spring onions, coriander, sea salt, corn kernels, cavolo nero/babyspinach/collard greens and the optional hot sauce if you're adding it. Leave all to simmer on low for 10 minutes while you assemble the pie top.
Pie top & Baking the whole pie
- Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F fanforced and grab a big mixing bowl.
- Place the masa harina, goat's yoghurt, quinoa flour, water, chopped scallion/spring onions, egg, coriander and olive oil all into a bowl and mix by hand until well combined. This mix is going to need to be able to spread over the top of the pan filled with the mince mix, so if it's too thick to spread for whatever reason, just add 2 tbsp goat's yoghurt and another 1/4 cup water and mix thoroughly again to make it runnier.
- Switch off the pan with the mince bubbling away. Pour the pie top over the top and spread over the whole mince mix to cover the mince mix completely around to all the edges of the pan. Add cheese if you're adding it.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until top is getting golden
- Serve to people you love, have lovely chats, light candles and be grateful for the feasts we take the time to prepare and share. Simple pleasures yet so, so lucky, right?