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.
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
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
- 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.