Monday, March 5, 2012

Beef Casserole with Cheesy Cornbread Topping

Beef Casserole with Cheesy Cornbread Topping

I was going to call this recipe a chili but I didn't want to start a debate on what does or does not constitute authentic chili. So I figured that if I called it a casserole, all it constituted was dinner :)

Beef Casserole with Cheesy Cornbread Topping
I'll admit that I don't have much experience with chili. I was raised in Manhattan by two European parents so there wasn't much talk of chili...or cornbread for that matter. But I've since discovered that it can be a delicious thing. I understand that purists would tell me that there should be no beans in chili but I used both beef and beans for two reasons. The first is that it makes a heartier, more filling dish and the second is that beans are just plain good for you.

Beef Casserole with Cheesy Cornbread Topping
Interestingly, I didn't tell Brian what I was making for dinner but when he walked into the kitchen as I was done preparing the meat/bean mixture in the pan, he tasted it and said 'oh, yum, chili for dinner.' I guess he's not a purist but whatever you choose to call this, we called it delicious! Enjoy!

1 lb. Lean ground beef
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
4 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Bell pepper, diced (I used green but you can use any color you like)
1 Can (approximately 14 oz.) red kidney beans (black beans would also work)
1/2 Cup tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons taco seasoning (optional) *
2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping:
1 Box instant cornbread mix (I used Jiffy)
1 Cup corn kernels (frozen is fine)
1 Egg
1 Cup milk (I used low fat)
1/2 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 Teaspoon sugar
1/4 Teaspoon salt

*  I prefer mild flavors but if you like more heat, add a bit of cayenne or spicy chili seasoning.

In a large skillet, brown the beef and continue cooking it while adding the onion, garlic, bell pepper and seasonings. Finish by adding the tomato sauce and beans and allow to cool slightly. Pour into a baking dish or leave in the skillet if it is oven safe.

Beef Casserole with Cheesy Cornbread Topping
In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, milk, cheese, chives, sugar, salt and corn kernels. Add the cornbread mix and blend. The mixture will be a little lumpy. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes then spoon over the meat mixture. Cook in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 400 and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the cornbread is set and lightly golden brown. Makes approximately 4 servings.


  1. This does look like a tasty one! I love all kinds of meat pies, but having cornbread on top instead of pastry is a new one for me. It does look like it would be a delicious change. Also, like the southwestern flavors you pulled together. Saving this one. Have a great evening Anita!

  2. Looks so hearty and satisfying! YUMMMMM buzzed ya

  3. This looks delicious. I love the addition of Worcester sauce. Dinners that come out in one pan are always a good thing.

  4. Mmmmmm....pure comfort food! My family would love this, too~

  5. I grew up in Maine so I don't have a whole lot of experience with chili either! Beef stew on the other hand... It does look delicious though, whatever you call it!

  6. This looks delicious! I love the thick cornbread topping! And the fact that there's beef and beans! Sounds amazing!

  7. This looks incredibly delicious!

  8. Great comfort food!!!! Perfect for a cold rainy day.

  9. I did the same thing over Gumbo! It's delish. Your cornbread turned out really well...I had a little trouble getting the center cooked al lthe way through.

  10. This is kind of like a Shepherd's pie, I think! Looks delicious, Anita. Great recipe!

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  12. omygosh YUM! I loveeee the cheesy cornbread topping, my house would kill for some of this!! Bookmarking this recipe :)

  13. I love a fast easy supper, don't you? We called this tamale pie at our house ... it's good with leftover chicken or turkey as the meat mix too!

  14. Regardless of what it's called - it sounds and looks absolutely delicious =)


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