Chili Cornbread Casserole is the easy complete meal that can be cooked and served in the same pot. How sweet is that? Used to be politically incorrectly referred to as “brides casserole” due to its simplicity and utilization of canned goods, but who cares? Tastes great, kids like it, survives pretty well in refrigerator leftover land so let’s get started.
For starters you’ll need some ground chuck. Put a little oil in the pan, break up the ground meat and thoroughly cook and set aside. Add a little more oil, dump in the onion & garlic and cook until clear, about three minutes. Next add the seasonings and the drained can of pinto beans. Lightly smash a few of the beans against the side of the pan. This will thicken the final chili. Add the diced tomato with its juices, the reserved meat, stir and let cook for a couple of minutes. If you’re a do ahead kinda guy or gal making this for tomorrow’s supper you can stop here and pop in the fridge. Otherwise, cut the heat and mix up the cornbread.
The cornbread is easy & when it’s mixed you can pour it over the chili which you will have flattened out, and note: I misspoke in the first paragraph. This meal dirties two dishes if you include the one you use to mix the cornbread but two’s not bad so just live with it 🙂 Shred the cheese of your choice of the top of the cornbread, slide in the oven and your labor is over.
Below you’ll see it served with a little extra chopped bell pepper and some sour cream along with an ad hoc coleslaw that was nothing more than shredded cabbage and carrot with a little mayo.
Done! Now down the hatch.
- For the Chili:
- 2 tablespoons oil (1 for browning meat, other for the veg)
- ½ lb. ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1.5 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular)
- 1 to 2 jalapeno chilis, chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper (optional if you used 2 chilis)
- 1 14.5 oz can tomato dice with liquid
- 1 15.5 oz can pinto beans
- For the Cornbread Topping:
- ¾ cup stone ground cornmeal (medium or fine grind)
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- For the Chili:
- Add tablespoon of oil (or even better, bacon grease) to a Dutch oven, break up the meat, cook over medium heat until done & remove.
- Add garlic and onion and saute for several minutes until clear.
- Stir in the chili powder, smoked paprika, chopped chilies, salt and pepper.
- Slightly smash the beans with a fork, some should remain whole.
- Stir in the tomato dice, beans, and reserved meat & cook over a low heat for several minutes.
- For the Cornbread:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all dry ingredients and make a well in the middle.
- Whisk together the egg and buttermilk, pour into the well & mix.
- For the Assembly of the casserole:
- Level out the chili and pour cornbread batter over it.
- Top with grated cheese of your choice.
- Bake until brown, about half an hour.