Tamale Pie & Cornmeal Cheese Topping

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1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes

1 can (11 to 15 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup water

1/2 cup sliced ripe olives

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten


1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink. Add the chopped onion, garlic and bell pepper; cook for 2 minutes, or until just tender. Pour off excess fat.

2. Stir the tomatoes, corn and seasonings into the ground beef mixture and simmer for about 5 minutes longer.

3. Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal with 1 cup water. Stir into the mixture in the skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.

4. Add the sliced olives and pour the mixture into a lightly greased, shallow 2 1/2-quart or 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan. Set aside while you make the topping.

5. Heat the oven to 375 F.

6. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups milk with 1 teaspoon salt and the butter. Gradually stir in the 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal. Cook, stirring until thickened.

7. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and beaten eggs. Pour the topping around the edge of casserole.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

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