Cornbread Topped Chili
A quick spin through the SPC archives confirms that we are big chili fans. We’ve got white, chickpea, lentil, slow cooker pork, slow cooker beef, chicken, a chili mac…. oh, yes, and a turkey chili! Chilis are easy, they feed a crowd (or create leftovers), can be made quickly or allowed to simmer away for an hour. They freeze well, go to school in a thermos beautifully… what can’t they do? Which is why we just can’t stop trying new ways to serve up one of our favourite dinners.
This recipe is probably our simplest chili yet. It’s very basic: just ground beef, some seasoning, tomatoes and beans. But by topping it with cornbread rather than serving cornbread on the side, it became a very exciting event to my kids. They were curious about what was coming out of the oven, loved watching a spoon dip past the golden topping into the hearty chili. Just one little twist and dinner felt brand new. This would also make a great dish to bring to a potluck as it travels well and reheats easily.
Recipe note: I used buttermilk in my cornbread. If you don’t have any handy, just add a teaspoon of white vinegar into regular milk and let it stand for 5 minutes. It won’t be as creamy as real buttermilk but you’ll create the acid you need to activate the baking soda.
photo by Maya Visnyei
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 x 28 oz canned tomatoes
- 1 x 14 oz canned kidney beans
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
In a large pot, warm up the oil over medium heat. Toss in the onion and garlic and let it soften for 3 minutes.
Add the beef and break it up with the back of a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the beef with chili and allow it to cook through, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and allow the chili to simmer for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
While the chili is cooking, combine flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk butter milk, oil and an egg together. Combine, but don't over mix, the dry and wet ingredients.
Carefully pour the chili into a 2 quart baking dish or ramekin. Spoon the cornbread batter over the chili and smooth it over. Place the baking dish in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until the cornbread is golden. Insert a toothpick into the cornbread to check that it is cooked through.
Allow to cool slightly before serving. Top with sour cream and grated cheese.
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