Tamale Pie: Day 4ish

Kevin and I went to see Chicago last night, so we were bad bloggers and didn’t have time to post.  Fear not, dear readers, we have an extra-special recipe of Tamale Pie for you today from Recipes from the St. Anthony Community Hospital Guild Pocatello, Idaho, published in 1971. So, thank you Ruth A. Bogert for giving us the wildest version of Tamale Pie I’ve ever seen!!

First of all, I love that each recipe in this cookbook is handwritten by the members of the Hospital Guild.  Secondly, as I mentioned above, Ruth’s recipe is not your run-of-the mill Tamale Pie!  First of all, she includes four different types of protein instead of just the usual two.  Ruth adds veal and smoked ham into the protein mix, which gives an added flavor boost to the dish.  She also adds a can of stuffed olives instead of the much-loved black olives.  I’m assuming the type of olives Ruth had in mind would be pimento-stuffed olives, which would give her Tamale Pie some added spice.

Finally, Ruth’s recipe highlights something that Kevin and I have been noticing in a few recipes we’ve found: instead of layering the protein and cornmeal, this recipe mixes everything together, creating a meat-loaf of sorts.  My grandmother’s recipe for Tamale Pie (which she used when she worked as a lunch lady at the local school district) is also of this variety.  I’m not sure when this type of Tamale Pie started, but it makes the recipe easier and it also makes the dish accessible to more cooks since it resembles more common dishes like meat-loaf.


  1. Reply
    Kate March 4, 2010

    I have never seen a cookbook with handwritten pages! That is so cool.

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