This little creature of a pie is as delicious as it is beautiful! Flavors include everything from wheat germ and cheddar cheese in the crust to cubed beef chuck, crunchy corn and fiery southwestern spices, all wrapped up in a pretty potpie package. Your guests will have no idea what awaits them inside. For garnish, serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions and a bowl of salsa. ¡Olé!
1 2/3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup lard
5 to 7 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon lard
1 pound lean boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
1 (8.5-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles with juices
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/3 cup sliced back olives
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
To prepare the crust, combine the flour, cornmeal, wheat germ and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the cheese. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the lard until just blended, forming pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss lightly with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball. Divide the dough in half and place each half, cut side down, on a floured board. Flatten each half to form 5- to 6-inch rounds. Wrap one round in plastic and place in the refrigerator. Using a rolling pin, roll out the other round and fit into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling, heat the lard in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the beef, then transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. In the same skillet, add the green pepper and onion; sauté until just tender. Add the cooked beef, tomatoes, corn, green chiles, water, tomato paste, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt and crushed red pepper; stir well. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out the remaining dough to a 10-inch round to form the top crust. Spoon the cooled filling into the prepared unbaked pie crust. Moisten the overhanging pastry edge with water. Place the top crust over the pie; press and flute the edges to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut 4 steam vents, evenly spaced on the top crust.
To prepare the glaze, whisk together the egg and salt. Brush lightly over the crust. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Serve immediately. Serves 8.
Read more: Get the scoop on lard (and why it's better for you than you think) in The Lost Art of Cooking With Lard.
This recipe was originally published in Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking With Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient by the editors of Grit magazine. Try these other favorite recipes from the book:
Photo Courtesy Andrews McMeel Publishing