Our Little J is a Mexican food junkie. When she doesn’t like what I serve for dinner, she makes her way to the spice drawer and returns with her jar of “Taco Magic” (known to the rest of the world as chili powder). She then proceeds to turn any meal into tacos. Meatloaf, meatballs, any roasted or baked chicken dish: instant tacos. A generous sprinkle into most soups: taco soup.
So when she hears that I am actually making a “real” Mexican-flavored dish, she is giddy with excitement, and during dinner the Taco Magic jar stays in the spice drawer where it belongs.
If you have an oven safe dish that can also go on the stovetop (like a dutch oven, cast iron skillet, or skillet with oven-safe handles), this is an easy one pot meal. I always love cutting down on dishes.
Taco Pie is the Mexican version of a Shepherd’s Pie or Pot Pie. The filling is a taco flavored combination of ground beef, black beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers, green chilies. All of the great ingredients of tacos without 600 little bowls to wash. The crust is a cheese-topped cornbread that bakes in the oven on top of the filling.
(Please ignore that cheese-less wedge. How anyone could dislike cheese and end up in my family is beyond me)
Taco Cornbread Pie
2 lb ground beef
1 red pepper, chopped
1-2 hot peppers, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 can chili-seasoned tomatoes
1 small can diced green chilies, undrained
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can black or kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
Salsa, sour cream, diced avocados (or guacamole)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Brown the ground beef in an oven safe skillet.** Drain fat. Add peppers and onions to the skillet. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until onions just begin to soften. Stir in tomatoes, canned chilies, olives, corn and beans. Simmer mixture over low heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Taste and add additional salt, if needed.
Cornbread topping: In a mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, yogurt or sour cream and eggs. Stir in corn muffin mix with a rubber spatula until just mixed.
Spread the cornbread batter over the hot filling in the skillet. Bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes, or until cornbread is cooked through and lightly browned. (Exact cooking time will depend on the diameter of your baking dish. If the top of the cornbread is brown, but center is not set, cover with foil and continue to cook until set). Top with cheese. Cook 5 additional minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with sour cream, avocados, and/or salsa, if desired.
**NOTE: If you don’t have an oven safe skillet (or dutch oven), then cook meat mixture in a regular skillet, and transfer to a large baking dish