If you’re familiar with tamales—and we sincerely hope you are—you know that traditionally, they’re usually prepared around the holidays or for celebrating a special occasion (though we’ll gladly accept a tamale anytime, any place). What you may not be familiar with is the tamale pie.
A tamale pie has the flavorful power of a thousand regular tamales, give or take. And when you’ve got the power of a Green Curry Carnitas Tamale Pie in your hands—you’re basically a god. We’re giving you the gift of almost-immortality with this heavenly recipe for Green Curry Carnitas Tamale Pie, devised by Chef Keith Prante.
The key ingredient that really makes the dish out-of-this-world is a rich, all-natural Thai Green Curry cooking sauce from World Foods (you can find this and/or more of their sauces here).
Be careful who you share it with, though. You don’t want this kind of power getting into the wrong hands—aka, any hands other than your own!
Photo by Pete Pham
3 lbs Pork Butt
2 qts Dr. Pepper soda
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp curry powder
2 cups cotija cheese
2 bottles of World Foods Thai Green Curry Cooking Sauce (available at Sprouts and Whole Foods)
Salt and pepper
Basic Masa Dough (yield: 7 cups)
4½ cups masa harina, such as Maseca
3¾ cups cold water
1½ cups cold lard or vegetable shortening
1 tbsp kosher salt
Deep dish baking pan (9”x13”)
Shallow cooking sheet
Part I – Prepping the Carnitas
1) Sear well-seasoned Pork Butt in hot sauté pan until golden brown on all sides. Add in deep roasting pan with soda, veggies, and spices.
2) Place saran wrap and foil over pan and cook at 275F for 8 hours. After it is cooked remove from liquid and shred either with 2 forks or in a large table mixer with paddle attachment.
3) When fully shredded add curry sauce and stir until fully incorporated. Set in fridge until cooled.
Part II – Prepping the Masa
1) Combine masa harina and water in a large bowl and mix with your hands until ingredients are evenly incorporated and dough is moist throughout; set aside.
2) Combine lard or shortening and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on high speed until shiny and white in color, about 2 minutes.
3) Reduce speed to medium high and add dough in handfuls, letting it mix in before adding more, until all the dough has been added, about 2 minutes. Continue beating until ingredients are well combined and a smooth, soft dough has formed, about 1 minute more. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before using.
Part III – Cooking the Pie
1) Preheat oven to 315F. Cover the bottom of the baking pan with banana leaves and add half the masa putting it on the walls of the pan.
2) Add cooled pork and spread evenly across the pan. Use the rest of the masa to cover the pork then cover the masa with remaining banana leaves.
3) Place 9”x13” pan on baking sheet and place water in baking sheet. Cover with saran wrap and foil for 20 minutes.
4) Remove leaves cover in cheese and let rest for 5 minutes and serve.