Auntie Esther’s Tamale Loaf

Chuck, our good Aussie friend, contributed the following explanatory note and recipe for our Grandmother Recipe post.

Never having known his grandparents, all of whom had died before he was born, Aunt Esther was, together with her husband, the adored Uncle Gene, like a second set of parents to Charles, a lifelong friend whom Andy first met at UCSB in the fall semester of 1963. ‘Chuck’, as he was called then and still is by us before his permanent move to Australia, had loved this tamale loaf as a kid but has never been able to successfully recreate it down under due to a lack of proper corn meal, salt pork & ‘Grandma pepper’


  • 1 chicken cooked and shredded
  • 1 large can of corn
  • 1 large can tomatoes
  • 1 large pitted olives (presume she means canned or bottled)
  • 1 large onion chopped small
  • clove of garlic
  • ½ lb. of lean salt pork cut up fine
  • ½ cup salad oil
  • 2 teaspoons Grandma pepper
  • 1 & ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 3 cups milk or more if it gets too thick
  • I use one cup of the chicken broth
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • In large pan put in tomatoes, corn, olives, onion, garlic, oil salt pork & Grandma pepper
  • Cook about 10 minutes stirring often, then add eggs, corn meal & milk
  • “Now you have to stir all of this mixture constantly or it will burn for 10 minutes”
  • Put in two casseroles a layer of tamale mixture then some chicken, then more of mixture and chicken until completed
  • Bake one hour in 350 degree oven

“Good eating.”

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