The following recipe is basically an inverted New World Sheperd's Pie. Wha???
Tonight we have Tamale Pie, a casserole with a corn meal/grit bottom and meat blend top, where a Sheperd's Pie is a meat blend bottom, topped with mashed taters.
This is a pretty easy recipe to follow with plenty of variations, and maybe a healthy variation, I'll give my notes at the end, but here's what I did:
serves about 8
2 lb ground beef
Salt/Pepper/Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 large onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB, cumin, plus a little extra
1 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz)
1 "can" frozen corn
1 small handful of cilantro, chopped
8oz Colby cheese
For Corny/Grits Base
1 1/2 cup corn meal
4 cups water
Salt/Pepper to taste-be liberal, it needs it!
4 TB Butter
In a large skillet, brown 1/2 the beef, stirring occasionally. When cooked, transfer to a large bowl. I put mine in a strainer first, to drain out the grease. Repeat with the second 1/2. Reserve 2 TB of fat for next step.
Reduce heat to medium and add 2 TB of reserved fat.. Cook onions, jalapeno, garlic and cumin, stirring ocassionally for about five minutes, until onions are soft.
Season with S/P.
Add tomatoes and corn. Instead of measuring two cups of corn, I poured it into the empty tomato can. Stir to incorporate. If the tomatoes are a little watery, let cook for a bit longer to cook of extra liquid. Add the cilantro.
Return beef to pan. Stir to incorporate. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a medium/large saucepan bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil, with salt and pepper...this is where you want to be liberal with the salt, I used about 1 1/2 TB....the cornmeal can be plain, use your best judgement.
In a medium bowl, mix the corn meal and the remaining 1 1/2 cup of water together. When the water in the saucepan is boiling, add the cornmeal/water mixture to the boiling water. Stir constantly and quickly, up to five minutes, or until thick and "creamy." Remove from heat and stir in butter.
Pour cornmeal into a 13x9 baking dish. Smooth into the pan, allow to set for about a minute.
Pour the meat mixture over the top, put cheese over the top.
Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any bubbly mess), until cheese is bubbly and gooey.
Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
The original recipe called for using ground turkey and olive oil. That is tasty, but pretty mild, more healthy for you though.
Original recipe called for two jalapenos, I used one instead of two. More mild instead of hot!!
I added a TB of oregano.
Garlic is an addition I thought appropriate.
I've made this at least twice, maybe three times...this was by far the best time. I would recommend it...great easy week night meal or dish for a potluck! Do people still do potlucks?