I am still looking at further ways to exploit that Lodge “Combo Cooker” on our propane grill. I like to buy “ready made” pre-cooked Tamales, made with Masa flour, wrapped in corn husks – then just steam and eat them with a good sauce but there is something about the name “Tamale Pie” that just sounded GOOD. This recipe was inspired by something similar found on Better Homes & Gardens recipe section. Of course it *had* to have some beef and get kicked up a few notches. 😉
Beefy Two-Bean Tamale Pie on the grill
(Prep time: Prep: 35 minutes Fry: 10 minutes Bake: About 25 minutes)
- 1 lb. ground sirloin (very low fat content)
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (or a good spray of PAM in each skillet – I’m lazy remember?)
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans or black beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mashed
- 1 can of ROTEL with jalapenos (mixed with beans)
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mashed (I like Ranch Style with jalapenos)
- 1 sm. can tomato sauce
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers, undrained
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 8-1/2-ounce package corn muffin mix
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces) or shredded Mexican blend (yum).
- 1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1 tsp paprika for additional color (optional)
- Grease (or Pam) large 10″ skillet and set aside on indirect heat side of grill. (You will want to pre-heat it prior to adding anything). In a bowl, prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions. Add cheese and cilantro to muffin mix, stirring just until combined. Pre-mix slightly mashed beans, ROTEL & tomato sauce in a bowl.
- In short 10″ skillet (on the hot side of the grill) brown ground beef, sweet pepper, onion, and garlic in hot oil. Place deep skillet on indirect heat and spoon in mixture of kidney beans, pinto beans, ROTEL or tomato sauce, chili peppers, chili powder, and cumin; heat through.
- When beef is browned to your satisfaction, drain off any excess fat and add to deep skillet – move deep skillet over lit burners and stir while heating mixture thoroughly. (If the mixture isn’t properly heated first your cornbread muffin mixture will not bake properly).
- Spoon cornbread mixture evenly over top of beefy bean mixture, (I’ll give it a light dusting with paprika just for color). Move to indirect heat side of grill and bake, uncovered, looking for 350-400 degrees of indirect heat for about 25 minutes or until golden. If desired, serve with salsa. I prefer to kick it up a notch with Crystal Extra hot sauce when its on my plate – along with almost every Mexican or Italian dish you can think of.
- Makes 6 good sized main-dish servings (or about 8 for normal folks).
Notes: To promote more even baking on the grill, after 10 minutes on the right side, I switched the burners (right two on left two off) and moved the deep pan to the left side of the grill. After another 10 minutes I will put in in the middle of the grill with only the two outside burners on. Might not be necessary, but moving things around as I checked on them has worked well for me in the past. Remember the “toothpick test”? When you “think” your cornmeal muffin topping is about done, test it by sticking a toothpick in the middle of the crust – if it comes out clean you can pretty well bet its about done. 8)
(Heidi wants me to point out the toothpick test works well for bread or muffin mixes – regular cornbread is so dry you might want to use a butter knife).
Some final thoughts:
The real beauty of the Mexican Tamale, beyond portability, is you can stuff it with whatever you have on hand – beef, chicken, pork, ground turkey – or if you are really poor meatless. The same is true with this recipe – use what you have on hand and enjoy the end result. It is bound to be good regardless. When I do this again I will add a can of (rinsed & drained) sweet corn to the bean mixture. 😉