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Tamale Pie

Makes 2 13X9 inch casseroles! Bake one, freeze one.HAPPY holidays!

1 Tblsp. oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
3 lbs. lean ground beef
4 cups (32 oz) medium salsa
4 cups (32 oz) frozen corn
¼ cup chili powder (cut the chili powder in half if you prefer milder food)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp. ground cumin
3 cups milk or water
¼ cup butter
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can (16) oz large pitted black olives, drained, and sliced (opt.--we leave these out)

Lightly grease two 9 X 13 inch baking dishes.
In a 6 qt. pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
Raise heat to high. Crumble beef into pot and cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring to break up clumps. Drain any liquid and fat from the meat.
Add salsa, corn, chili powder, salt, garlic, and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer mixture for about 15 minutes.
In a 3 qt. saucepan, slowly bring milk or water and butter to a boil. When butter has melted, whisk constantly as you slowly pour in the cornmeal in a steady stream to prevent lumping.
Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes longer, until cornmeal absorbs most of the liquid and the mixture is very thick. Remove from heat.
Evenly divide the cornmeal mixture between the two baking dishes. Pour ½ meat mixture over the top of cornmeal mixture in each baking dish and top with cheese, and olives.
To serve immediately, place casserole dish in 400 degree preheated oven and heat until bubbly about 20-30 minutes.
Otherwise, cover the baking dishes tightly with foil, label, and date. Store up to 4 months.
To reheat: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place covered casserole (still frozen) in oven and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until cheese is bubbly and casserole is hot in the center.

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