Recipe by Alan in SW Florida
All of the ingredients for a typical beef tamale are combined in this delicious Southwestern casserole. For a simple variation, use Monterey Jack cheese instead of Cheddar.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 lb ground chuck
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels (about 2 ears) or 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
- 1 (14 ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1⁄2 cups milk
- 3⁄4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (about 1/2 pound)
- 1⁄4 lb fresh plum tomato, thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup chopped scallion (green onions, 2 to 3 medium)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole or souffle dish.
- In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and ground beef, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the beef begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the green pepper, corn, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the milk almost to a boil over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisking constantly, gradually add the cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese.
- Line the sides and bottom of the prepared casserole with two-thirds of the cornmeal mixture. Pour in the meat filling and top with the remaining cornmeal mixture, spreading it evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheese on top. Arrange the fresh tomato slices over the cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
- Sprinkle the scallions on top and bake for 5 minutes longer.