Continuing on my quest to “casserole cook”, I remembered a recipe that my mother, Fran, made when I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. She called it Tamale Pie, and it was a real favorite with my brother, sister and me. A combination of hot and sweet, just right, filling and warms you up. Mid-March – and today it’s 36 degrees! I know what I’m having for dinner.
Most of the ingredients should be in the pantry. I keep different varieties of canned tomatoes, black beans, corn, ground beef and sour cream in stock as staples in my house for occasions just like this. And I always have Jiffy brand corn muffin mix – it’s the best bargain around. For about 50 cents, it’s a winner. We always like the sweet corn muffins, not the other. However, regular (not sweet) corn bread mix can be substituted. As I always say, it’s a matter of “taste”!! You like what you like.
Here’s my mama’s version:
Franny’s Tamale Pie
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or ground round
1 onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
½ teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper
2 boxes (8.5 ounces) Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
2 eggs 2/3 cup half and half or milk
1 small can kernel corn, drained
1 8-ounce package of shredded Mexican Blend cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. In large skillet, brown ground beef and onion, drain well. Return meat to skillet, and add tomatoes, black beans, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix corn muffin mixes with eggs, milk, cheese and corn.
Pour meat mixture into baking dish. Spoon the corn muffin mixture over the top of the beef and spread with a fork. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until corn muffin topping is browned and “done”.
Serve with sour cream, chopped or shredded lettuce and tomatoes or a green salad. And a hearty red wine is never wrong!
I add a little sour cream to my corn muffin mix to make it creamier. And you can also add a little Taco Seasoning mix (such as Ortega or Old El Paso) if desired. I don’t, just because of the added sodium, but it’s good either way.
Until next time, be kinder than necessary, and spend time with those who love you unconditionally, not those who love you only when the conditions are right for them!