Tamale pie is a delicious Tex-Mex casserole with beef and a beautiful masa harina crust. You can use fine cornmeal instead of the masa harina if you would prefer. Here is what you need to do for this:
1 pound ground beef
2 TBS olive oil
1 large white onion – finely chopped
4 garlic cloves – minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo – finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper – finely chopped
3 tomatoes – peeled and chopped
1 cup yellow corn kernels
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Heat some oil in a skillet and brown the beef. Drain it in a metal colander inside a bowl.
Wipe down the skillet and add more oil. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes – until soft, translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic and chipotle and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
Add the bell pepper and tomatoes. Stew the tomatoes for about 5 minutes. Return the beef to the skillet and add the corn. Add the tomato paste and water. Mix. Add the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove cooked meat from skillet and place in a casserole dish.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
FOR THE TOPPING:
4 cups of water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 ¼ cups masa harina or fine cornmeal
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
Place the water in a pot – preferably a heavy one. Add the salt and chili powder. Mix. Slowly add the masa harina – whisking well every time. Cook for about 4 minutes until it resembles a thick batter.
Lightly beat the egg. Add the sour cream and whisk well. Slowly incorporate 1 cup of the hot masa harine in order to temper the egg. Mix well and pour into the pot with the remaining masa. Add cheese if using.
Pour the mixture on top of the meat. Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes – until meat is bubbly and masa is completely cooked through.
Remove from oven and allo sitting for about 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!