Growing up we had tamales every Christmas Eve. It's certainly a labor of love because they require a lot of work to prepare. I love this easy casserole dish that has the tamale taste, but without all the work. It can even be frozen or prepared in advanced and refrigerated.
Beef Tamale Pie $5.25
From The Best Make-Ahead Recipe, How to Cook Now and Save Time Later
1 t. veggie oil .01
1 lb ground beef 1.99
1 medium onion minced .09 (great deal at Aldi this week)
1 medium jalapeno chili minced with seeds removed (omit if you don't like spicy food, add a bit of the seeds if you love spicy food) omitted because I'm a wimp!
2 T. Chili powder .05
4 medium garlic cloves minced .10
1 T. tomato paste .05 (great deal on Muir Glein tomato paste this week)
1 T. minced fresh oregano or 1 t. dried .02
1 t. ground cumin .02
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (less if you don't want it as spicy) .01
1 can diced tomatoes .50
1 can black beans rices and drained or 1 1/2 c. cooked .20
1 1/2 c. frozen corn (do not thaw) .50
2 cups Cheese of your choice (Monterrey Jack is an excellent choice) .86
1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro leaves .20
4 t. lime juice (2 limes) .10
Ground black pepper .01
Cornbread topping .54 (see recipe below)
Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering, if using lean meat. Add beef and crumble it as you cook. Stir in the onion, jalapeno and 1 t. salt and cook until softened and lightly browned. Stir in the chili powder, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds.
Stir in diced tomatoes with their juices, scraping up any browned bits. Remove from heat and add black beans, corn, cheese, cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place beef mixture in 9x13 dish. Prepare the cornbread topping and spread on top evenly, pushing it to the sides of the dish. (Can be frozen as is or stored in the fridge for up to 2 days, cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with oil and then foil, don't forget to remove plastic wrap before you bake it.)
Bake at 375 degrees with the oven rack in a medium position. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden and baked through. about 45 minutes.
If prepared a head of time and stored in the fridge, bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes.
If frozen allow to sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 50-60 minutes
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour .05
1 c. yellow cornmeal .15
6 T. Sugar 05
2 t. baking powder .01
3/4 t. salt .01
1/4 t. baking soda .01
1 c. buttermilk (regular milk with a couple t. vinegar added) .10
8 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled .38
2 large eggs .16
Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter and eggs together. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until uniform. Use as directed for the topping to Beef Tamale Pie.