Friday, April 24, 2009

Tamale Pie with Cilantro Cream Sauce

I've been making this dish for years. I only found the sauce recipe online about a year ago though. I decided to make this casserole after I found this in the meat case last Monday.

Yep, I got 4.63 pounds of ground beef chuck for only $5.50. YEE HAW!
And also because I have the prettiest green onions and cilantro growing in the garden right now.

Seriously, I was pretty happy. I really prefer ground sirloin because it has a lower fat content, but I couldn't pass up a deal like that.

Now, if you look closely, the expiration date for the beef was the day after I bought it, but I got it home, used 1.5 pounds right away, divided the rest up, and put it in the freezer. So don't be afraid to check the meat case when you go to the store...they have to get rid of product all the time, and reduce it drastically to get it sold. Otherwise, they have to throw it out. But if you snap it up, you could save money...and who doesn't want that?

I made this casserole in my deep dish pie pan ('cause anything less won't feed us all anymore), but next time I want to try using my cast iron skillet. I nearly kicked myself because I though about it after I'd put the finished dish in the oven (0f course!).

I also make a double batch of the cilantro cream sauce because David is a condiment addict and always uses about 8 times more sauce than I would ever dream of. You can make a single batch if your husband is normal.

Tamale Pie with Cilantro Cream Sauce


1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (use just the leaves)
2 green onions, chopped
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
zest from 2 limes (about a teaspoon)
salt and black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a container. Refrigerate until ready to use. This is best made early in the day so the flavors have time to develop.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (14.75 ounce) can Rotel (I used mild)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

In a large skillet, brown the beef, garlic and onions together over medium heat.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. When beef is no longer pink, drain off the fat. When I use ground chuck, I like to drain the meat in a colander lined with a thick layer of paper towels.

Return the meat to the skillet, and add the pinto beans, creamed corn, Rotel, and cornstarch. Mix well.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Lightly spray a deep dish pie plate, cast iron skillet or other oven proof casserole pan with some non-stick cooking spray.

Mix up the cornbread according to the box directions. You'll want to follow the directions for "cornbread" on the side of the box. (The back of the box has directions for corn muffins.)

Pour the meat filling into the pan and smooth the top.

Sprinkle the cheese over the meat. (Alternatively, you can stir the cheese into the meat mixture instead of putting it on top.)

Gently spoon the cornbread batter over the cheese, and spread to the edge of the pan. There should be just enough. It doesn't have to be perfect either, as long as it's covering most of the meat, it will be fine.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25030 minutes or until the cornbread is a nice golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with the Cilantro Cream Sauce (although plain sour cream or salsa is also great).

This made enough for 2 nights, and David had seconds both nights. (I won't tell you how much sauce he was downright illegal!).

God bless your table tonight!

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