Full disclosure, I forgot corn husks. Then I drowned the dough. Then I burnt my hands. Then I opted for a deconstructed ta … I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let me take you back – picture it, my kitchen, yesterday. My girl, staunch Vegemite fan Miley Cyrus, dropped by after requesting a catch-up.
Having played such an integral role in Annelie’s departure, Miles and I have been in close contact most of the year however she has been too scared to get too close to the scene of the crime. Thankfully Hiddleswift are in town stealing the limelight and showing their true colours, so Miles thought it was time to catch-up and make sure Annelie’s studying-medicine-to-cure-her-ailment was going well.
Miles dropped by after spending the day with Annelie and was disheartened by the fact that her selective amnesia seems here to stay … but was pleased that the silver lining is that she will be a doctor and will hopefully lack enough morals to give us an endless supply of pointless prescriptions and fraudulent medical certificates.
You win some, you lose some I guess.
Either way, we opted out of having a friendly cage fight and instead gabbed about our Hemsworths – he’s Thor? I’m so thor I can barely shi … nevermind – discussed our dear Dolly and reminisced about the wondrous time of our lives that was Hannah Montana (she is unaware I had an affair with Billy Ray while working on the set – don’t tell her).
As I alluded to up front, this week’s meal didn’t go to plan. I wanted something fun, spicy and comforting – not knowing how she’d take Annelie’s continued amnesia – so I went with her fave, my Tamale Cyrus.
Then my forgetfulness – do I also have amnesia – laziness and patience got in the way (read: I bought mince instead of pork butt and forgot corn husks to wrap them), resulting in a deconstructed Tamale Cyrus. But the thing is, I actually loved them!
I mean sure, there is nothing better than wrapping your meat in some warm pillowy dough … but sometimes it is just as satisfying to slap it on top of said dough and slather it in your special sauces.
Enjoy – you know I did!
2 onions onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1kg pork mince
¼ cup chili powder
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cups chicken stock
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (removed the seeds if you don’t like heat)
5 cups cornmeal
1 ½ tbsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
200g unsalted butter
Heat a lug of oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot and saute the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the meat, breaking up with a spoon as you go – if you accidentally buy mince, dems the breaks – and cook until lightly browned.
Add the spices and jalapeno and cook for a minute, to release the flavours. Then, add the stock, crank up the heat and bring to a boil. Once it is getting lively, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour.
Once everything has literally simmered in its juices, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Once cooled, strain off the liquid from the meat and leave the meat to rest while you cook the bread.
See why real pork would have been better than mince? Nigella once told me to embrace the failures though, so I’m making it work!
Anyway, combine the dry cornbread ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, rub through the butter until it resembles wet sand on a terrible beach with mega coarse sand. Once combined, gradually add the stock while stirring until the dough is thick and moist – how good is that word, moist, MOIST – but not wet. Trust your judgement, not mine.
Press the dough into a large baking sheet – like one you’d use for making cookies – until it is a smooth 5mm layer and bake for 10-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked but not to hard. Again, use your judgement – Miley and I were pretty wasted at this point so it may have taken anywhere from 5 minutes to 6 hours – you want it to be soft yet squishy, like a polenta chip.
Once it is what you would deem ready, carve the bread into squares, place one on your plate, top with your meat and then top with another piece of dough. Who doesn’t love their meat in a sandwich?
Then top with guac, sour cream and more chilli sauce if you need it. Or not … but who doesn’t love a special sauce?
Also, sorry – I won’t cook drunk again for a few weeks. Promise.