A few years ago, ninkasi23 posted a tamale pie diary for WFD; this is a slightly different take on that so-not-authentic (but still quite tasty!) Mexican dish. It makes a great fall/winter supper dish that really stretches a pound of meat; I also like it because it’s quite easy to adjust ingredients to match what you have in your pantry/freezer. Here’s the basic version:
Tamale pie II
- 1 pound ground beef, turkey or meat substitute
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 8 ounce* can tomato sauce
- 1 16 ounce* can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 16 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained (or 1 cup frozen)
- 1 8 ounce can sliced ripe olives, drained
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- dash black pepper
- 1-½ cups grated cheddar, divided
Brown ground meat with onion and green pepper; drain. Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes or until thickened. Add 1 cup cheese and stir until melted; set aside.
* the original recipe called for twice as much tomato sauce (16 ounce can) and tomatoes (28 ounce can), which made it really soupy, in my opinion. Plus, it made too much filling to fit in my dish. Feel free to add those back in if you like.
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups cold water
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp butter
Combine cornmeal, water, salt and chili powder in medium saucepan. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, until thick. Add butter and mix well.
Spread half of the cornmeal mixture in bottom of greased 8” x 12” casserole or equivalent. Add filling; drop remaining cornmeal mixture by spoonfuls on top. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes; top with remaining ½ cup cheese and return to oven until melted, about 5 minutes.
Feel free to substitute/omit ingredients to suit your taste: black or chili beans, green chiles, jack cheese, whatever floats your boat. I prefer to use no-salt-added canned tomato products and increase the amount of chili powder.
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