Tamale Pie

I remember making this years ago for just Matt and me, and I have no idea why I haven’t made it again, because it turned out really good! Now, the kids didn’t enjoy this (and I only made them try a bite because I was in no mood to have people not eat their dinner) so it was just for the adults. And because I felt like it made SOOO much, I mixed up the entire casserole part and then froze half of the mixture for another time. Notes about halving the recipe at the end.

Tamale Pie
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork (not sausage, just ground pork)
NOTE: I think that you can just do ground beef in this, or even better, shredded beef from a roast or something. I’m sure shredded chicken breast would be good, too. I made it with the beef/pork combo, and I’m not really sure why it calls for this.
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce with chili seasonings (I couldn’t find this, so I just used regular and sprinkled in chili powder)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel)
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained
OPTIONAL (but I omit): 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 pkg (8 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar or colby jack)
1 box (8.5 oz) cornbread mix (I used Jiffy this time)
1 tsp chili powder
Sour cream (optional but good!)

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble meat into skillet; add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned. Drain off fat. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, corn, olives and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.

In a small bowl, prepare corn muffin mix as directed on package. Stir in chili powder. Spoon batter over meat filling to within 1/4 inch of pan sides. Bake in 400 oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve with sour cream.

Makes 8 servings.

If you halve the recipe: freeze half of the mixture for another time. Pour the half you’re using into a lightly greased 8×8, 9×9 or similar-sized dish. Then, top with about 2/3 of the cornbread batter. Pour the rest into a muffin tin (there might be enough to make 1 or 2 muffins, I’d guess) and bake alongside the casserole. If you put all the batter on top, it won’t be ruined, but there’s so much cornbread that it outweighs the casserole (and this is coming from someone who LOVES cornbread).

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