Heat oven to 350 degrees. Clean and chop onion; clean and dice the hot pepper ( I use cherry hot poppers, but any type of hot pepper will work, depending on your tastes). This ingredient can be omitted.
Brown the ground beef, onion and pepper in a medium skillet over medium high heat until nicely browned and meat is no longer pink. Drain excess fat and add to the beef the tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Mix well and press into a buttered 11″ x 7″ baking dish. Set aside.
Prepare the corn muffin batter:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, corn meal, sugar and baking powder. Add the milk, melted butter and egg. Mix well and spoon over the meat mixture. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until topping is cooked through and lightly browned.