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Tamale Ranch Beef Casserole


Tamale Casserole

Tamale Casserole

Photo: Diana Rattray
This ground beef casserole is a nice dish to prepare for an everyday family meal. The beef and cheese mixture is topped with a simple cornmeal crust and baked to perfection.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Beef Mixture
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes or about 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (11 to 14 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


In a medium saucepan, mix together cornmeal, 1 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Pour into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Chill.

In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels then crumble. Set aside. Pour off skillet drippings; return 1 tablespoon of drippings to the pan. Brown ground beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the parsley in pan drippings; remove and set aside. Drain off excess grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Sauté onion, celery and garlic in pan drippings until softened; add tomatoes, corn, beans, cheese and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Remove chilled cornmeal mixture from the refrigerator. Turn pan upside down to remove cornmeal mixture in one piece. Cut into small squares, about 1 1/2 inches each. Set aside 10 for topping, then place half of the remaining squares into the bottom of a greased casserole. Top with half of the browned meat and half of the sauce and crumbled bacon. Make another layer of cornmeal cubes, meat, another layer of sauce and bacon. Arrange the 10 saved cornmeal cubes around the edge of baking dish. Bake beef and cornmeal dish at 350° for 40 minutes.
Tamale ranch beef casserole serves 6.

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