Don’t let the name fool you, this is not Mexican food. This dish is an old fashioned American classic. Tamale Pie was taught in home economics classes as early as the first decade of the 1900s, and still should be in my opinion. It is included in at least one World War 1 cookbook, and during wartime was touted for being a recipe that could be used to save wheat.
It is a runaway hit with the family. My 5 year old was dubious about the mixture of “stuff” touching the cornbread, but after the first bite she said “is there more? because I’m going to need more.” My son said that it tasted “99 times better than it looks.” High praise! I think. There is nothing fancy or gourmet or modern about this dish. This is just an honest, simple dinner that the whole family will love.
- 1 TBLS vegetable oil
- 2 pounds ground beef, preferably organic, grass-fed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper, ground
- 1 small can green chilies, roasted
- 1 15oz can tomato sauce
- 1 15oz can pinto beans
- 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup corn, frozen
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup yogurt, nonfat plain
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup flour, all purpose
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 TBLS sugar
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Over high heat, saute the beef in the vegetable oil until well browned. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Remove the beef from the pan.
- In the same pan, saute the onion, pepper and garlic until soft and translucent. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp salt.
- Add the green chili, tomato sauce, beans, olives, corn, cumin, chili powder, oregano, pepper and browned meat. Simmer over low heat about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Put the mixture in a 9×13″ casserole pan.
- To make the cornbread: mix together the egg, yogurt, milk and oil until well blended. Add the flour, cornmeal, salt, powder, soda and sugar and mix until combined.
- Spread the cornmeal mixture gently over the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.
- Bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Place a baking sheet below with casserole pan in case it bubbles over a bit.
- Serve with sour cream and chopped jalapenos.