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Pork and Poblano Tamale Pie

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        “The Joy of Cooking” was one of the first cookbooks I was ever aware of. 
It, along with Boston Cooking School Cookbook (aka Fanny Farmer), the enormous Gourmet Cookbooks Volumes 1 and 2, and something called “The Encyclopedia of Canadian Cooking” (yes, Encyclopedia) formed the backbone of my family’s cookbook library.  Aside from those Junior League recipe collections, which inevitably involved cans of Campbell’s Cream of Something 
soups,  that was about it.  But one recipe from “Joy” remained in my mind.  It was the notorious recipe for Tamale Pie.
 I say notorious because in 1997, when the Editors of “Joy” undertook its first revamping in years, they not only slashed dozens of recipes, they changed the whole tone of the book.  The original author, a woman named Irma Rombauer, wrote in the first person.  And she covered 
everything from canning to quantities.  The newer volume assumed its reader knew more than Mrs. Rombauer ever gave them credit for and was roundly criticized.  It knocked out numbers of family favorites but not the Tamale Pie.   Therefore, that recipe got enormous amount of press.  I 
tried it then and wondered what was the fuss about.  “Joy’s” Tamale Pie was basically chopped meat covered in a cornmeal crust.  It was good but I don’t recall running out and thinking I must make this once a week.  In fact, I haven’t made it since 1997.
           Just to finish the Joy Of Cooking story, in 2006 a “75th Anniversary” version was published restoring both Mrs. Rombauer’s voice to the book and many simpler recipes using pre-made and store-bought ingredients like….well,  cans of Cream of Something soup. The recipe that attracted my attention was using the Tamale  Pie technique but switching out the chopped beef for a rich 
and spicy filling of pork and poblano chiles, just the kind of thing that we crave as it gets colder. And today in New York, where the temperature is likely to hit 45 degrees, seems like a very good day for it. This incarnation is from Bon Appetit.   It’s both inexpensive and filling and I think you will like it.
Here’s the recipe:

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