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The Best Tamale Pie

The Best Tamale Pie // Karista's Kitchen

 

Sometimes all we need is good ole comfort food like Tamale Pie. I often made tamale pie for my girls when they were little. It was a sure method for getting everyone to the table. 

I loved hearing my girls squeals of happiness when they came into the kitchen and I announced we were having tamale pie for dinner.  My tamale pie is filled with tender ground beef, savory aromatics, fresh corn, black beans and loads of flavorful spices. Then it’s topped with a corn and cheddar laced cornbread that is slightly sweet. I serve it with sour cream, sliced avocados and a tossed green salad for good measure.

So, I have to admit, I kind of liked tamale pie night myself. It’s such a great way to use ground beef and the cornbread topping makes it feel a bit playful. Back in the day when I was making this dish often, it was a delicious way to serve a gluten-free meal for my gluten sensitive daughter. I also had a freezer full of grass-fed ground beef and needed inventive ways to prepare it.

The Best Tamale Pie // Karista's Kitchen

Today, my girls still love this Tamale Pie. They continue to crack me up as they are mostly grown up now and yet, still little kids at heart. They both love ground beef recipes, especially when it’s Tamale Pie.

I made this last week and both my daughters were completely delighted. Then the oldest daughter decided to take home the leftovers – for her lunch the next day. Much to the disappointment of my youngest daughter who I found rummaging through the refrigerator looking for it. 🙂 I guess I’ll be making another batch next week.

This is an easy recipe to pull together and pop in the oven. It just screams happiness and everything that makes dinner delicious. 

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

The Best Tamale Pie

Serving Size: 4-6

The Best Tamale Pie

Ingredients

    For the cornbread topping
  • 1 1/2 cups Masa Harina (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup corn (either fresh or frozen)
    For the filling
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, extra virgin olive oil or flavorless coconut oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 10.75 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup of corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of lime juice

Instructions

Prepare the cornbread topping
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  • Whisk together the masa marina, melted butter, sugar, salt, baking powder and water. When the consistency feels good, like a cornbread batter, fold in the cheddar cheese and the corn. Set aside.
  • Prepare the filling
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a little oil to the pan. When the oil is hot add the onions and saute just until wilted. Then stir in the ground beef. When the ground beef is almost cooked through, add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, coriander and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute longer and then take the skillet off the heat.
  • Gently stir in the tomato puree, the corn, black beans and fresh cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the filling into an 8x8 square baking dish or an 8x10 rectangular baking pan. You can use a large baking pan but you may need to use 1 1/2lbs of ground beef if using a larger pan. You will have plenty of cornbread topping for the larger pan.
  • Once you've add the filling to the bottom of the baking pan, spread the cornbread filling over the top. Place it in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the cornbread is done and the sides are bubbly.
  • When the tamale pie is done, take it out of the oven and let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with sliced avocado, sour cream, extra cheese, diced tomatoes, salsa and anything else you think would be delicious.
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    6 Comments

  • Reply
    Tammy
    October 20, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Made this for dinner after watching you make it on am northwest. It has been in the oven for 30 minutes and the topping is soup. Watery. 3 cups of water can’t be right. Plus no eggs? I am hungry and have nothing to eat now. So disapointing.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 21, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Tammy I am so sorry about the watery topping! The recipe on AM Northwest called for 2 cups water not 3 cups. Masa Harina will stiffen over time, which is why I make it first and then prepare the topping. If you decide to make this again, use 1 1/2 cups masa and 2 cups water and be sure to use the 1 tablespoon baking powder. It should thicken and then easily pour or spread over the filling and then bake up firm. No eggs needed in the topping which makes this nice for egg allergies. I hope you give it a try again and let me know how it goes. Best Wishes, Karista

  • Reply
    Tammy
    November 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Oops. My bad. Must have read that wrong. I will try again because other than the watery problem it actually tasted great. 🙂

    • Reply
      Karista
      November 6, 2017 at 9:34 am

      No worries! Just happy you enjoyed the recipe.

  • Reply
    Diane
    November 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I just had to tell you how much my husband and I enjoyed your recipe. Thank you so very much! Absolutely delicious!

    • Reply
      Karista
      November 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Diane, Thank you so much for the lovely comment. It always makes my heart happy when readers enjoy my recipes. Wishing you the happiest and most delicious holiday season! Karista

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