Great Grandmother's Tamale Pie
My great grandmother recently passed at a good age of 102. Though there are many memories that I have of her, some of the best are from the kitchen. This Tamale Pie recipe is something she said she made all of her life, so who knows how old this recipe is - but we do know it is delicious.
I will put it down how it is made, but also make suggestions on anything I would do to add to it a little as she never used many spices other then salt, pepper, and chilli powder.
A Small Difference
Interestingly enough when I was trying to look around at other tamale pie recipes the picture looked completely different than what I was used to. My great grandmother only used the corn bread mixture on the bottom of the dish.
The image here is also a vegetarian version which looks similar to the one in the recipe.
- 1 Pound Ground Beef
- 1/2 Cup Onion, Sliced
- 1 Cup Corn
- 1 Cup Olives, Whole
- 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
- 1+ Cups Cheese
- 1 Cup Corn Meal
- 1+ Tbsp Chilli Powder, To Taste
- First, read your corn meal box. This will tell you what it takes to prepare it. I usually follow the box and make enough to cover the bottom of a baking pan in a half inch or so of mixture. The end baking time is the amount of time and temperature it states on the box, usually at about 400 for 15-20 minutes.
- In a skillet start browning your meat. When it is half way done, add in the onions. Add chilli powder to taste. Before anything starts to burn, empty the tomato sauce into the skillet.
- Mix in the Olives and Corn before pouring the mixture into the baking pan over the corn meal mixture. Put as much cheese as you like on top of the pie and bake for the time the box stated. Try to watch so the cheese doesn't burn, if it looks like it is going to, you can cover it with foil (but it should not).
Onions: Since I do not like onions, I usually cut them really small so their impact is diminished.
Garlic: I love garlic, so I add a bit of garlic either minced or powdered.
Chili Powder: I try different kinds of chili from time to time, sometimes going for a smokey flavor.
Olives: I actually like the olives being whole, it makes their impact that much more. However, I know some people don't like them so I slice them up if it is for others.
There are many things you can add, a lot of people like to add beans, some add peppers and other spices. It is a diverse recipe that you can modify as much as you want.