Make Ahead

Tamale-Crusted Chili Pie

May 15, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

That's not really the name of the recipe: we mundanely call it "Leftover Pie" and we make it every three weeks or so, usually on a Monday night and usually with leftovers from chili made on Saturday night. If you want to make it really cheap and easy, don't prepare this filling--use your own leftover chili (red or white) or taco filling made with beef, ground beef, pork or chicken. Or, if you have leftover roast chicken or steak or pork roast, make the filling by chopping the meat roughly, mixing it with enough enchilada sauce or salsa to moisten, then stirring in the beans and corn; fill the crust without heating the filling. If you have leftover refried beans, spread those on the bottom crust before pouring on the filling. To make it not-so-cheap, decorate it with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with sliced olives, diced avocado and chopped cilantro. —betteirene

What You'll Need
  • For the crust
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, regular grind
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups cold tap water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (any kind or color)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can (about 1 1/2 cups) diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can (about 1 1/2 cups cooked) red, black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder (any kind)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded medium-aged Cheddar cheese, divided
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together cornmeal and salt; add water slowly, stirring constantly to insure that no lumps form. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in butter. Set aside to cool while preparing the filling.
  2. In a large saucepan or skillet, saute the ground beef with the onions over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through; spoon off any accumulated fat. Add the remaining ingredients except the corn and cheese. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the corn.
  3. Lightly grease a glass pie plate; spread or pat half of the cooled cornmeal mixture across the bottom and up the sides. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Spoon filling over bottom crust; spoon small dollops of remaining cornmeal mixture over filling--it's okay for the filling to peek through the crust. Bake at 375° (preheating is not necessary) in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and allow to cool about 5 minutes before slicing.
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  • VanessaS
  • healthierkitchen

2 Reviews

VanessaS May 16, 2011
I love this idea for using leftover chili - I will definetly be trying this.
healthierkitchen May 16, 2011
Great idea!