This hearty one skillet Browned Butter Cornbread Tamale Pie is packed with all sorts of deliciousness. The topping is tender, a bit sweet and the browned butter takes it to the next level of yum! Definitely an easy meal your family and friends will love.
This is a meal my husband absolutely loves. And what is not to love? The hearty filling is easy to make and so tasty. It starts by browning affordable ground beef with onions, garlic and green peppers. Add some spices, tomatoes, your favorite salsa (store bought or homemade) and let it simmer for a bit. Finish it up with some corn, black beans and fresh cilantro (you can skip the cilantro if you are not a fan).
This Cornbread Tamale Pie is bursting with Tex Mex flavors. Spiced ground beef chili seeps through a delicious homemade browned butter cornmeal topping. The ultimate comfort food!.
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup salsa (medium or mild)
  • 1 (15 ounces) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
For the Brown Butter Cornbread Topping
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces sour cream (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
Optional Toppings for Serving
  • Sour Cream
  • Chopped Cilantro
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. To Make the Brown Butter
  3. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally to achieve even cooking. The butter will foam and then it will start to turn golden brown. Your brown butter is perfectly done when it has a nutty aroma and is toast-brown in color.
  4. Transfer the brown butter to a heatproof cup or bowl. Reserve until ready to use,
  5. To Make the Filling
  6. Return the skillet to high heat and add the ground beef. Cook breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 6 - 8 minutes or until browned.
  7. Add the onions, garlic and green peppers. Cook stirring frequently for about 4 minutes or until the vegetables softened. Add the cumin, chili, oregano, seasoned salt, clove and black pepper. Mix well.
  8. Turn the heat to medium and stir in the crushed tomatoes and salsa. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the beans, corn and chicken stock and simmer on medium low heat, stirring occasionally while you make the topping. Stir in the fresh cilantro if using and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  9. To Make the Cornbread Topping
  10. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
  11. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, sour cream and buttermilk, Whisk until all combined. Whisk in the brown butter.
  12. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined and smooth.
  13. The Rest
  14. Using a large spoon, place dollops of the cornbread batter mixture on top of the beef filling. With a spatula spread the batter into an even layer.
  15. Transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until pale golden brown. You can test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the cornbread. If it comes out clean, is ready!
  16. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
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