One of the first recipes that made it onto my favorites list when I was a young bride was this recipe for tamale pie that I found in a cookbook I received as a wedding gift in the early ’60′s. Back then the selection of cookbooks was decent, but nothing like what is available now, and most home cooks had the same five or six books on their kitchen shelves. One of the most popular was The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, published in 1960. It’s all basic stuff and I have found very few recipes in it over that years that haven’t been good, if not first rate. Mexican food wasn’t popular back then, at least in my mother’s kitchen, but I loved the mild spiciness of the ground beef mixture and the cheesy goodness of the cornmeal topper. My husband was a hunter and this recipe was a good way to use the ground venison that filled the freezer every fall. I’m sure it would also be delicious with ground turkey if that’s your preference. If you are a fan of Tex-Mex cooking I’m sure you will like this very flavorful and easy to assemble dish.
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup green pepper, chopped
- ¾ pound ground beef
- 2 8-ounce cans (2 cups) seasoned tomato sauce
- 1 12-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 cup chopped olives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
- dash pepper
- 1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- CORN-MEAL TOPPER
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Cook onion and green pepper in a little hot oil until tender. Add meat; brown lightly. Add next 8 ingredients. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes until thick. Add cheese; stir until melted. Pour into a greased 10×8 inch baking dish.
- Corn-Meal Topper: Stir corn meal and salt into cold water. Cook and stir until thick. Add butter, mix well. Spoon over hot meat mixture.
- Bake casserole in a 375 degree oven about 40 minutes until bubbly and the topper has lightly browned.
On This Day One Year Ago….Beef Barley Soup
On This Day Two Years Ago….Spicy Pumpkin Black Bean Chili