Beef Tamale Pie With Maize Meal Crust

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Prep time: 00:30 HR
Cook time: 00:30 HR


Serves: 6

While this slow-cooking, dark, brooding chili gets a boost the beauty lies in the maize meal crust, that brings to the dish a touch of texture and a waft of sweetness...use baking soda generously to get an airy crust...


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large jalapeno, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
  • 2 15-ounce cans chili beans, one drained
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime

For the Cornmeal Crust:

  • 1 cup Island Sun’s White Maize Meal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Sour cream (optional)


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. When oil is hot add onion, jalapeno and garlic to pan and sauté until slightly translucent. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Add chili powder, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans and lime juice and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook while you prepare the crust.

Combine the maize meal, flour, sugar, baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, milk, eggs and melted butter in a medium bowl, whisking with a fork until just combined and lump-free. Fold in cheese, stirring to combine.

Spray cooking spray on inside of individual baking crocks or a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Season chili to taste with salt. Fill prepared dishes 3/4 of the way with chili. Top with cornmeal mixture and spread evenly over the top of chili using a spatula.

Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, 30-35 minutes. Serve with sour cream, if desired.