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IMG_20190320_171952891_HDRwatermarkI didn’t grow up with Tamale Pie, a mixture of ground beef, tomatoes and chili powder topped with a boxed corn bread batter and baked. In fact, it wasn’t until we were staying with my mother-in-law some 20 years ago that it came to my attention. I was doing a lot of the cooking while we were staying there, between college graduation and wherever the next job took us. My mother-in-law requested it.

An internet search turned up lots of recipes, which I refined into my own, and it’s become an occasional weeknight staple ever since. Inexpensive, tasty, and a good way to use up homestead staples like canned tomatoes and frozen corn and bell peppers, it can really hit the spot during those long winter months where a little extra comfort can go a long way to helping you believe that spring will eventually come again.

Tamale Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Weeknight comfort food

Filling

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken
  • 1 small can (4 oz) diced green chilies (or frozen)
  • 1 14 oz can corn (or frozen)
  • 1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes (or one pint home canned)
  • 1 15.5 oz can beans of choice – optional
  • 1 small can sliced olives – optional
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Topping

  • 1 package 8.5 oz Jiffy corn muffin mix, made to package directions, or from scratch corn bread recipe of your choice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large oven proof skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and saute onions, peppers, ground meat and garlic, cooking to break up clumps, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add in spices and saute until bloomed and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in tomatoes, corn, green chilies and beans/olives, if using, and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, prepare corn bread mixture.

Top meat mixture with cheddar cheese. Spread cornbread batter over cooked meat/vegetable mixture and spread evenly.

Place skillet in oven and bake until cornbread mixture is cooked through in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

(If you don’t have a heat proof skillet, pour meat mixture into a casserole dish, top with cheese and cornbread batter, and bake, uncovered.

© 2019 Miles Away Farm, where February was brutal and we’re about 2 weeks behind in terms of the spring warm up, but the daffodils are finally blooming, the lambs are bouncing around the pasture, and spring is FINALLY here!

 

Jennifer Kleffner

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