Feb 26, 2011

Tamale Pie/Cornbread Casserole

This hearty dish clearly fits under the category of comfort food. I like the combination of the beef, bean, and veggie layer, topped with cornbread. This recipe is adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Beef Mixture:
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups salsa (jarred or homemade)
1 can (15 ounce) black, pinto or white beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
2 or 3 green onions, sliced (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion, adding the salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the fat from the pan. Stir in the corn, salsa, and beans. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared pan and set aside.

For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beaten eggs and milk. Whisk together until just moistened and no dry spots remain. Fold in the sliced green onions, if desired.

Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture and pour the cornbread batter over the cheese and beef mixture. Gently spread the cornbread to the edges of the pan, evening it out over the top of the casserole.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving. May be served with additional salsa, sour cream, or chili sauce. Serves 6-8.