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Picked from the Tree: Tamale Pie

I come from a long line of divine cooks.  Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me.  Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic.  ’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.

Tamale Pie Casserole easy recipe

Sorry there is no “after” photo of this meal.  Somehow it got lost in the wilds while being moved from my camera to the computer.  This ones an instagram I took while cooking.  I think it’s very pretty don’t you?

This recipe was given to my mom by her step-dad.  I never meet grandpa Ken as he did a few years before I was born, but he sounds like one amazing man.  And I love the recipe cards my mom has from him.  He doesn’t just give the recipe, he narrates a bit throughout.  This one starts by saying, “Kay: TAMALE PIE is a wonderful dish for a crowd coming in – filling and fun.”  Isn’t that great?

Tamale Pie Casserole easy recipe

Tamale Pie – serves 6

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 – 8oz can tomato sauce
1 – 12 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp chili powder
dash pepper
6oz sharp cheese shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cold water
1 tbs butter

Oven 375*

Cook the meat, onion and pepper in a large skillet until meat is browned and vegetables are tender.  Stir in tomato sauce, corn, olives, garlic & sugar, salt, chili powder & pepper. Simmer 20-25 minutes until it thickens.  Add cheese; stir until melted. Turn into greased 9×9 baking dish.

Then stir cornmeal and 1/2 tsp salt into cold water. Cook and stir until thick.  Add buttermilk; mix well.  Spoon over the hot meat mixture. (Missy’s note – I actually mix the cornmeal in with the meat mixture instead of leaving it on top).

Bake about 40 minutes.

Now: One can put some bacon slices on top of the casserole and add some more olives, sour cream or green onion if you wish on top.

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