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This is adapted from James Beard's great Tamale Pie recipe. It looks splendid cooked and brought to the table in a colorful casserole.
- Contributed by Catsrecipes Y-Group
- Source: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham
- Serves 6
- 4 cups water
- 1½ cups yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups cold water
- 3 tsp salt
- ¼ - ½ cup butter or lard
- ½ lb bulk sausage
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 to 1½ cups finely chopped onions
- 1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1½ lbs ground beef
- 3 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, or 4 cups peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels
- 4 oz canned, mild green chiles, diced
- 1 tsp minced jalapeño pepper (optional)
- 1 cup pitted ripe olives
- 2 cups grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese
- Bring the water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan.
- Meanwhile, stir the cornmeal into the 2 cups of cold water (this helps prevent lumping) and stir this into the boiling water.
- Continue to stir while the water returns to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low, stir in 1½ t of the salt and the butter, cover, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often.
- In a large frying pan, mash the sausage and cook over medium heat until it begins to lose color.
- Add the chili powder and cumin, stir, and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, onions, green pepper, celery and remaining salt.
- Stir and cook until the vegetables are limp.
- Crumble the beef into the pan and mash and cook until the raw color disappears.
- Add the tomatoes, corn, and green chilies (and jalapeño pepper, if used), and let the mixture simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Grease or oil a large baking pan at least 10 x 14 x 2 inches.
- Spread ⅔ of the cornmeal mixture on the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Spoon in the filling and distribute the olives evenly over.
- Spoon the remaining cornmeal over the top and sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for about 1 hour.