Tamale Pie features a zesty, flavorful ground beef filling with a delicious baked topping made of masa. The result is an easy dinner that tastes amazingly like a beef tamale and can easily be made gluten-free!
With rack in center position, preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 2.5-quart baking dish (mine was 10.5- by 7.5-inches) or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Set a large skillet, sauté pan, pot, or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking apart and stirring as the meat cooks. Drain grease and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove cooked beef to a separate plate or bowl and return the pot to the stove.
Reduce heat to medium. Add olive oil and minced garlic; stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Whisk in flour and stir continuously for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in beef broth and then tomato sauce, followed by chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic salt, onion powder, dried oregano, and chipotle chile pepper powder (if using), to taste.
Bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for a couple minutes or until thickened. Turn off the heat.
Stir the cooked ground beef into the sauce as well as the diced green chiles and 1 CUP of the shredded cheese. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter, milk, egg, and the remaining ½-cup of shredded cheese until all ingredients are just combined. The mixture will be extremely thick.
Dollop the masa mixture over the beef mixture in the baking dish and spread to the edges, covering completely. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and tests done with a toothpick inserted in the center. Serve immediately, plain or topped with your favorite garnishes.
Nutrition information calculated for ⅙ of recipe. However, if you have big, hungry eaters, this recipe will probably make closer to 4 servings.
Since the masa mixture is so thick, I find it easiest to dollop it all over the top of the beef and then use a spatula and/or wet fingers to spread it to the edges.
If you'd like a bit of heat but aren't sure how spicy you want to go, taste your sauce first before adding any chipotle chile pepper powder. Then, if you prefer more heat, add ⅛-teaspoon at a time -- stirring well and tasting in between -- until the spice level is to your liking.