Thursday, 18 March 2010

Mexican tamale bean pie

This is one of those good stand by store cupboard recipes. I used to make this often when quick cook polenta was easy to come by too, plus it was quite simple to put together after a hard days work. Then I got the allotment and my focus shifted to seasonal and fresh produce. I only rediscovered the recipe, whilst I was dusting the bookshelf and started flicking through some of my celebrity chef related books and looking at some of recipes I had vegified over the years. But this particular recipe for Mexican Tamale Bean Pie was already vegetarian.
Whilst looking at the photographed dish and at my scribbles on the variations, I yelped out to D
Do you fancy a Tamale bean pie tomorrow?
Do you even need to ask! was the response.
This recipe can only be described as a 'vegetarian Mexican shepherds pie', but spicy. I would even go as far as to say, its good, honest home grub.
D says he could eat this Tamale bean pie every-day. It delicious, that's for sure, but I seriously don't think he could eat it every day. For a start I won't be cooking it every day and secondly, he needs his vegetables. Spinach to have muscles like Pop-eye; carrots for good vision like Superman; and sprouts...err, well you need some vegetables to make you strong.
Mexican tamale bean pie
Serves 4
120g quick cook polenta
1 egg
300 - 350ml milk
120g Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons fresh coriander
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
50g – 75g jalapeno, sliced
350g Quorn mince (can be substituted with TVP)
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
410g can of black beans, drained and rinsed
250g vegetable stock
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Beat together the polenta, egg, milk, cheese and 2 tablespoons of the coriander. Season and leave to stand for 20 minutes to allow the polenta to swell.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened slightly. Add 50g of the jalapenos, the Quorn mince, tomatoes, tomato puree, beans, stock, lemon juice and remaining coriander and cook on gentle heat for 30 minutes. Season to taste and pour into an ovenproof dish.
Preheat the grill to high. Stir in the remaining chillies into the polenta mixture and spoon over the mince mixture to cover. Grill for 5 minutes or until golden. Adapted from Ainsley Harriot's Low Fat Meals in Minutes.


  1. that looks yummy,specially the grilled cheesy polenta topping... must try it out!!

  2. This one of my husband's favorite meals. You may have inspired me to make it agains soon. Have a great day.
    **I know you will not like one of my dishes I made for St. Patrick's day. My niece was here for a long visit & the hubby just really was hankering for some meat! But do check out my other traditional Irish non meat dish!

  3. This looks really nice, and something a bit different too!

  4. Thank you Rashmi.
    The topping is delicious.

    Oh Dee,
    I am so pleased i have inspired you to make this again, esp for your husband. Dee I'd be more than pleased to come by to gaze at your St. Patrick's day dishes! Just give me a few minutes.

    Thank Jo.

    Thank you TheFastestIndian.

  5. good work,your pie is delicious!

  6. That looks really gorgeous

  7. This looks and sounds delish, reminds me of a dish I made about three weeks ago; I cooked some TVP mince with a West Indian style stew flavour I added some chuncky veges at the end when I turned off the fire. I then evenly covered it with a freshley not quite cook slightly wet polenta (hope that made sense) then stuck it in the oven then stuck the dish into the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to allow the polenta to finish cook and to let the vegetables cook through a little.

    It came out all bubbly with the 'stew' pushing its flavours into the polenta topping, it was so yummy everyone was disgustingly licking their plates, tut!

  8. Thank Alison.

    Thank you so much Lottie.

    Thank you Kella. It really was delicious.

    I do love the sound of your West Indian style stew - all bubbly with the 'stew' pushing its flavours into the polenta topping. You can be such a lady Kella:D I think its a compliment the plated being licked. You should worry it they do it in public. Have a good weekend.

  9. This sounds so good. I love finding recipes for Mexican food that aren't loaded down with fat and meat. I can't wait to try this one out.

  10. Thank you so much K Hamilton.
    If you do get round to making this, I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  11. This looks very comforting -- I like the polenta topping.

  12. O.k. i have to try it out... maybe next Saturday, have to buy ingredients first! But... i can't wait to post it! Looks delicious!!!:)

  13. Thank you so much Beatrice.

    donkey and the carrot.
    Thank you so, so much.

    I hope you find the ingredients, I often stuggle to find quick cook polenta. I so do hope you enjoy it.

  14. YUM! And I eat Coeliac foods!! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. I LOVE tamale pie. It's so easy, healthy, and filling. I make a cornmeal topping (I blogged about it last month), but your topping looks great. Love the addition of the peppers melted into the cheese.

  16. Thanks Sarah Vino.

    Thanks MsMeanie.


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