Oh my, tamale pie

One of the (many) amazingly delicious meals I enjoyed growing up was tamale pie. It was a basic, no fuss, no-frills meal, but it included olives and cheese so it was well-loved.

I thought about it a few weeks ago but realised my copy of the recipe was back home in America, so I asked my Mummy to email it to me, which she happily did within a couple of hours of making the request. (Yet another example of how awesome she is.)

Anyhow, it’s such a fantastic recipe that I thought I’d share it with you here.

Tamale Pie

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce [UK: Passata or tomato puree]
1 12-ounce can (1½ cups) whole kernel corn, drained
½ cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 teaspoons chilli powder
Dash pepper
6 ounces (1½ cups) shredded cheese [Red Leicester or cheddar, for example]

¾ cup yellow cornmeal [UK: Polenta]
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
1 tablespoon butter

(US to UK measurements can be found here: US cups to UK weights (dry ingredients) and US to UK liquid conversions.)

  • Cook meat, onion, and green pepper in a large skillet until meat is lightly browned and vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, corn, olives, garlic, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, chilli powder, and pepper.
  • Simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until thick.
  • Add cheese, stir until melted.
  • Turn into greased 9x9x2-inch baking dish.
  • Make cornmeal topper:
    • Stir cornmeal and ½ teaspoon salt into cold water.
    • Cook and stir until thick.
    • Add butter; mix well.
    • Spoon over hot meat mixture.
  • Bake casserole in moderate oven (375°F / 190°C) for about 40 minutes.
  • Makes 6 servings.


2 Replies to “Oh my, tamale pie”

  1. Yeah, I haven’t used canned corn in years, but that’s what the recipe calls for. I use frozen whole kernel corn and it cuts out that much more of the sodium! Of course, I also use no-salt-added tomato products, too.

    And it’s really a tad bit humorous that we’ll be having tamale pie for our dinner tonight, too. And yours looks yummy!

    1. I found some good no sodium added tinned corn – and tomato sauce. I’ll be freezing some of the leftovers and am hoping that it defrosts and re-heats nicely.

      Hope you enjoy your dinner!

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