One way to stay within your grocery budget is to find ways to stretch inexpensive meats, like a whole chicken or a pound of ground beef, to feed a family. As is often the case, we turn to Mexican inspired recipes to fill the bill, because they have a way of stretching every ingredient for maximum flavor. This is certainly true with our Tamale Pie, which deconstructs the flavors found in traditional tamales and turns them into a one skillet meal where we sauté ground chuck, veggies, and spices to create a filling that is topped by a cheesy cornbread crust. Serve this dish directly from the pan for easy cleanup. Garnish with our Corn, Tomato & Black Bean Salsa, sour cream, and our Chunky Guacamole with Serrano Peppers to complement this yummy dish.
We deconstruct flavors found in traditional tamales to create a meal that stretches ground beef, vegetables and spices, then tops them with a cheesy cornbread crust.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 61 minutes + 20 minutes resting time
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped (2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup Chihuahua cheese, grated
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 cup yellow corn kernels
- Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle position and preheat a 10-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Heat oil in pan. When oil shimmers, add onions, bell pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are soft and golden in places, about 5 minutes.
- Add black pepper, oregano, cumin, and ground beef to pan and continue cooking just until beef is cooked through, 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 more minute. Add tomatoes and simmer mixture until thickened slightly, 5 minutes.
- Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in cornmeal and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook until thick and creamy, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, jalapeno, and corn. Spread evenly over beef mixture.
- Transfer pan to oven and bake until top is golden and filling bubbles along the sides of pan, 40-45 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.
TIPS: Chihuahua cheese is a great melting cheese and is used in many authentic Mexican restaurants. However, if it is unavailable, Monterey Jack cheese may be used instead.
YIELDS: 8 servings
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