“Hummingbirds are just regular birds that can’t remember the lyrics.”
The credit for that one goes to a friend who always posts wacky things on Wednesdays. Makes the middle of the week that much more tolerable.
This Brazilian Ground Beef And Creamy Corn Pie would make any day more tolerable.
I’ve made meat pies with cornmeal/polenta crusts in the past, like this Chili Corn Dog Pie, but I had never seen a recipe that combined puréed corn with the polenta. It creates the corniest (ha!) flavor you could imagine in a very good way.
The meat layer here is also different than your typical ground beef bake in that the milk and wine lend it richness and a unique flavor. Add the cheddar into the mix and you get the picture. What a great dinner.
Brazilian Ground Beef And Creamy Corn Pie
Ingredients for the meat layer:
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ lb pancetta, finely diced
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 ¼ lb ground beef
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
½ cup tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Ingredients for the corn layer:
1 cup corn kernels, fresh, canned or frozen (thawed)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups yellow sharp cheddar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
Directions for the meat Layer:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium to high heat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring, until lightly crispy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the onion, green onion, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
4. Add the ground beef to the pan and use a spoon to break up the meat. Cook until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
5. Add the wine and reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, milk, and water. Stir gently and cook, partly covered, for one hour over low heat.
6. Season meat mixture with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the fresh parsley.
7. Transfer meat sauce to a 11 x 7 inch baking dish, spread with a spatula, and set aside.
Directions for corn layer:
1. Place the corn in the bowl of a food processor and purée into a smooth paste.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, over low heat. Add the cornmeal and mix until the polenta becomes slightly wet.
3. Add the puréed corn and stir over low heat until mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 1 minute. Immediately transfer to a large bowl.
4. Add the baking powder and mix well. Add the sour cream and 1 cup of the cheese. Mix with a spoon, a spatula or your hands r until a dough forms. Season with salt and pepper.
Directions to assemble and complete meat and corn pie:
1. Preheat oven to 375℉.
2. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the corn dough into a rectangle, about the size of the baking dish.
3. Carefully lift the dough and place it on top of the baking dish, making sure the meat layer is all covered. (I used a 13 x 9 inch pan and the dough did not cover the filling completely. It didn’t make a difference.)
4. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top.
5. Bake the pie until the cheese is bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Here’s some retro, shoegazey sweetness from Brazilian band, Churrus.