Spicy Chili made from ground beef, dried chilies, beans, corn and topped with a cheesy cornbread.
Chili and Cornbread Casserole
This is my go to chili recipe, (without the corn) I just realized I had never shared it with you. Don’t be afraid of the dried chili peppers in this recipe, they add spice not hotness. They also add an incredible richness and color to the chili that you can’t get any other way. When you use dried chilies you have to rehydrate them before using them. I soak them in very hot water for at least 20 minutes. Remove the seeds after you rehydrate, if you leave a few don’t worry. Then I put them in a blender or food processor to process to a paste adding about a 1/2 cup of water. The combination of peppers we are using are not hot ones.
To make this casserole, you can make your chili the day before, just be sure to heat it thru before adding the cornbread topping. It won’t get hot enough if you don’t before the cornbread bakes.
Ancho Chili Peppers – The ancho chili is the dried version of the Poblano pepper. Ancho chiles have a deep red color and a wrinkled skin. Their heat is mild to medium-hot. Usually it will say on the bag what the heat level is, I usually buy mild.
Pasilla Chili – The chilaca green chile is long and narrow, but it is a darker green in color like the poblano chile. When the chilaca is dried, it is known as a pasilla chile.
- 1 – 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef
- 1 medium Onion – chopped finely
- 1 1/2 C. Celery - chopped
- 2 – 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 2 Dried Ancho Chili Peppers
- 1 – 2 Dried Pasilla Chili
- One 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
- One 11.5 oz. Tomato Juice or 1 1/2 Cups
- One 28 oz. can Water
- 3 T. Chili Powder
- 1/2 t. Cumin
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 T. Sugar
- 1 Can Pinto Beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 Can Black Beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn - drained
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheese
- green onions - optional for serving
- Brown ground beef in a soup pot. Add celery, onion and garlic and cook until onion starts to be transparent.
- Break up dried chilies into a small bowl. Remove as many of the seeds as you want. (I usually get rid of at least half.) Cover with very hot water and set aside for 20 minutes. Then drain the water off and process peppers in a blender or food processor with 1/2 C. new water until you have a paste. Add to chili pot.
- Stir in tomatoes, tomato juice and water. Add spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Drain beans and add to chili. Taste to adjust seasonings.
- Note: The longer it cooks the better it is.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the butter, eggs and buttermilk. Stir to combine. Add cheese and stir in.
- To make casserole
- In a deep 9 x 13 pan, add enough chili that it fills up the pan 2/3 full. It should be hot. Dollop the cornbread mixture over the top.
- Bake for about 35 minutes or until cornbread is baked through. Test the center of the cornbread to make sure it is baked thoroughly with a tester.
- Sprinkle with green onions after serving.