For the Filling:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1½ pounds ground beef
1½ cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 can (14.5-ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup sliced black olives (optional)*
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup shredded)
For the Cornbread Topping:
1½ cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Making the Filling: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until hot. Add the onion, green pepper and jalapeños, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the ground beef to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Once the meat is browned, add the onion mixture back to the pan. Stir in the corn, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir well to ensure that the spices and the tomato paste are evenly distributed. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand while preparing the cornbread topping.
4. Make the Cornbread Topping: Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients over the cornmeal mixture and stir together until barely incorporated.
5. Assemble & Bake the Pie: Stir the olives and shredded cheese into the beef mixture and pour it into a 9x13-inch baking dish, smoothing the top. Pour the cornbread batter over the filling, using a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the pie to rest for 15 minutes before serving.