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Cacerola de Tamales (Tamale Casserole)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe olives
  • 2 tablespoons or more chopped green chile (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 3 cups water

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  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Fry ground beef and pork in a medium-size skillet at medium heat until beef is browned.
  3. Add onion and garlic to meat mixture and cook until onion is tender. Drain.
  4. Add tomatoes, olives, green chile, salt, and pepper to mixture and cook for approximately 20 minutes. (Water may be added to the mixture if a thinner consistency is desired.)
  5. Add 1/4 cup of cheese and 2 tablespoons of cornmeal to mixture, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and set mixture aside.
  6. Place remaining cornmeal and water in a medium-size saucepan. Cook cornmeal mixture, stirring occasionally, until cornmeal is thick.
  7. Spread half of cornmeal mixture in bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Place meat mixture over top of cornmeal and spread remaining half of cornmeal over top of filling. Top with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings