Picadillo and Corn Skillet Pie
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- Two 3- to 4-inch long whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups tomato sauce (about one 15-ounce can)
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup green pimento-stuffed Spanish olives, quartered
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
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Make the picadillo. Heat the oil in a well-seasoned 10- to 12-inch cast iron skillet, over medium-low heat, and saute the onion until softened and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1 minute. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the meat and saute, breaking it up with a spoon, until it just begins to loose its red color. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce, raisins, and olives, and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Stir in the almonds and set the mixture aside while you make the cornbread topping.
Make the cornbread. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and butter. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Pour the cornbread batter over the beef mixture in the skillet and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Bake the pie until the cornbread is golden and baked through, and the beef mixture is bubbling around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set the pie aside for 5 minutes before serving.
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