The author states that her tamale casserole, which she calls a "Mexamerican shepherd's pie" is based on a popular "delicious, fat corn-husked tamale sold in grocery stores", but with a "CRUCIAL" Californian addition - olives!
1/4 pound lard or butter
3 cups instant grits
3 cups boiling chicken or beef stock
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 Tablespoons lard, butter, or vegetable oil
4 cups cooked meat (shredded chicken, pork, or beef)*
2 pimientos, chopped**
1 1/2 cups pitted olives, black and green
1/3 to 1/2 cup pure ground chili, or more to taste***
Salt and pepper to taste
Whip the 1/4 pound lard or butter until soft and light.
Beat in the grits and gradually add the boiling stock until mixture is smooth.
Cover and set aside while you make the filling.
Sauté onion, garlic, and bell pepper in the lard until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well.
Taste and add more chili if wanted, because the mush will absorb much of the chili's heat.
Spread half the prepared mush in a 9-inch square baking pan.
Cover with the meat mixture.
Smooth remaining mush over the top.
Bake at 350ºF until mush is crusty on top and the filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.
Source: I Hear America Cooking by Betty Fussell; posted by LuAnn for KRT.