Weeknight Dinners

Tamal de Cazuela (Mexican Tamale Pie) With Black Bean Fillin

8 servings


2 hours 30 minutes

total time


For the Masa:

1 pound (3 cups) masa harina para tamales (see note)

3 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or water

6 ounces (3/4 cup) cold lard or Crisco

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

For the Filling (see note):

2 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil

1 medium white onion, chopped

3 medium cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups cooked black beans (from four 15-ounce cans or 2/3 pound dried black beans simmered until tender)

Kosher salt

Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil, for greasing

Hot sauce and salsa verde , for serving


In a large mixing bowl, combine masa harina and broth.

Stir until thoroughly incorporated.

Combine lard, salt, and baking powder and, using an electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until lightly whipped, about 1 minute.

Add 1/4 of the re-hydrated masa at a time to the lard, beating between additions until thoroughly incorporated. The masa should be soft and spreadable, with a hummus-like texture.

Cover masa with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, For the Filling: Microwave ancho chiles until fragrant and pliable, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, add broth, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave on high power until barely simmering, about 3 minutes. Let steep for at least 5 minutes. Using a blender or immersion blender, blend until smooth.

In a skillet, heat lard over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add beans and cook until heated through. Using a potato masher, bean masher, or wooden spoon, mash beans to form a chunky purée. Stir in ancho mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Assembly and Baking: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove masa from refrigerator, discard plastic, and re-whip, adding water one tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to return it to original hummus-like texture. Lightly grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet or 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray or oil, wiping up any excess.

Scrape 2/3 of masa into skillet and press to form an even thin layer on bottom and edge of pan.

Add 2 cups of black bean filling, smoothing to an even layer. Save any remaining filling for another use.

Gently form a top crust with remaining 1/3 masa, binding it with edge.

Wipe any masa residue from rim of skillet. Bake tamale pie until cooked through and lightly golden on top, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool slightly, then slice and serve, passing hot sauce and salsa verde at the table.


Serving Size

Serves 6 to 8


586 kcal

Total Fat

28 g

Saturated Fat

9 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



20 mg


896 mg

Total Carbohydrate

72 g

Dietary Fiber

10 g

Total Sugars

3 g


15 g

8 servings


2 hours 30 minutes

total time
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