Skillet Beef Tamale Pie

“You’ve really outdone yourself with this one!”  That’s what my Beau said when he had this for dinner.  He was elated to find out that there were leftovers and he could eat them for lunch the next two days.  I suppose it was the Southwestern filling capped with a corn bread topping that did it.  We are definitely huge tamale fans in our house, and this was a nice and simplified version of such flavors.  The base of this recipe comes from the America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, and if you don’t know by now, I have a deep love for ATK.  They rarely let me down, and they certainly didn’t with this recipe.  I think that making this in a skillet is genius because there are less dishes to wash!  (That being said, if you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, you can totally transfer the filling to a casserole dish and top it with the cornbread topping and then bake.  If so, just get someone else — the kids, the spouse, the dog — to wash the dishes.)  When you decide to make this, please call Beau and invite him over.  You’ll make his day!

P.S.  This is more of a recipe for maintaining your weight, not necessarily for losing.  If you’re trying to lose, you’ll want to pull the black beans out of the recipe and possibly put less corn bread topping on top.  Substituting ground turkey will also pull the calorie count down a little.

Skillet Beef Tamale Pie
Adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

1 teaspoons canola oil
1 onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef
1 cup black beans, rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

Corn Bread Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted

FOR THE FILLING:  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion, bell pepper, and chili powder and cook until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the ground beef, beans, tomatoes and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the cheese and cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and set aside while preparing the topping.

FOR THE TOPPING:  Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together.  Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until uniform, then stir in the melted butter until just combined.

Using a rubber spatula, dollop the corn bread topping evenly over the filling, then spread it into an even layer, covering the filling completely.  Bake the pie until the topping is golden and has baked through completely in the center, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let the pie cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Divide the pie into 6 equal slices and enjoy.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Slice)
Calories:  409
Protein:  29.9g
Carbs:  47.2g
Fat:  13.3g (5.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.2g
Sugars:  11.2g


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