Chunky Chilli with Cornbread – its all about balance. Or something.

After cooking Rib Roast I had a not inconsiderable amount of beef to deal with. So I decided on chilli for the first leftover dish. I think if I eat any more beef I’m going to grow horns and/or start lactating. Nice thought. Anyway we always served chilli with rice over here so I thought I’d try something different and attempted cornbread.

Anyway to create cornbread you’ll need

  • Coarse ground corn flour
  • Plain flour
  • Baking powder
  • An egg
  • Milk
  • Salt and (quite a lot of) sugar

And for the chilli

  • Cooked chuck beef
  • Beef stock
  • Tomatoes in juice
  • Tomato paste
  • Red wine
  • Onion
  • Red peppers
  • Red kidney beans
  • Mixed dried herbs
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chilli powder
  • Sugar

First make the cornbread; dead easy – stick all the ingredients in a bowl and mix:

Then pour into a cake tin and bake for about 20 minutes. I didn’t think cornbread was basically a heavy sponge. I still don’t think it is – so I guess I don’t think I really made cornbread. But who cares it was quite nice:

Taking photo of cornbread in new oven. Can still see into oven. Will soon get so grease-covered won’t be able to do this so making the most of it….

So the new oven isn’t that great – hence the slightly uneven finish:

Now onto the chilli. First prepare the stock using the bones from the roast and bits of scraps. Add water, onion, celery, some old yellow peppers and whole black peppercorns:

Bring to the boil and simmer for as long as you can. Then drain through a sieve into a jug (I like ‘rustic’ cooking but for the more discerning palate you might use muslin cloth to get a clear liquid I suppose).

Now you’ve got a proper real stock its time to chilli up! First fry the onions and peppers in butter:

Then add the stock and simmer until the juiciness starts to reduce:

Add in the beef and keep on simmering.

Now add the tomato ingredients, stir and simmer:

Add the remaining ingredients – wine, herbs, spices, beans. At this point (its been about twenty minutes since the onions started cooking), I tend to have drunk a glass of wine and the ingredients start to flow – so you might like to add some sugar, more chilli and soy sauce. But don’t go mad or it will end up like a gelatinous gloop.

Keep that sucker simmering on a low heat:

After half an hour…

…and an hour later!

Now all that’s left to do is serve up; with sour cream, grated cheese and chopped chives. Oh and big chunks of cornbread:

A well balanced, nutritious, meal from the House of Happiness Stan. Except for the beer. And the cream. And cheese……

28 thoughts on “Chunky Chilli with Cornbread – its all about balance. Or something.

  1. Hey again,
    I forgot to add 1/4 cup oil to the recipe. The reason for using baking soda and baking powder is the buttermilk; it needs an alkaline agent to balance the acid in the buttermilk to generate leavening gases. Plain milk can be substituted; just use 1 Tbsp baking powder and omit the baking soda.

  2. Excellent production indeed. I like the idea of corn bread. Tat would be a new one for me too. BTW, my (expensive in the Celtic Tiger days) oven that I bought on a promise of even temperature turns out to be about as good as yours seems to be.
    Damn the advertising!
    Best,
    Conor

  3. Yum! Any time I’ve eaten cornbread in the States I’ve loved it, but over here when I’ve tried to make it I can’t get it tasting good! I think I might give some of these recipes a go. Oh, and sweetcorn and cheese make caornbread extra yummy, in my opinion! Maybe something to do with my addiction to cheese! πŸ˜‰

  4. Hey Man,
    Just a little sugar is OK. Otherwise you’ll have fermented bread. Try this: 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup masa harina, 3/4 cup cornmeal (yellow preferred), 1 egg, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, buttermilk to your desired consistency. Use a heavy pan like cast iron and a hot oven for best results. Lots of other good recipes for cornbread but this is scroungelady’s personal fix. You can ask a Yankee about brown bread but not cornbread.

    • Now that sounds controversial but we like that kind of thing here. Again here, as in another suggested recipe – you’ve put baking soda in as well as baking powder – that will make it much lighter – i think we Brits just don’t get it sometimes (I followed a British recipe because we don;t get the ‘cup’ measure thing either)

  5. Here’s a simple cornbread (jalepeno) give this one a try. 1 1/4 cups of flour 1 1/2 cups of cornmeal, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 eggs 2 1/4 cups of milk, 1/2 stick of melted butter and 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno’s mix all together (I usually add some grated sharp cheddar cheese, a couple of handfuls) I bake mine in a cast iron skillet at 450′ for 20-25 minutes. πŸ™‚

  6. I think your cornbread looks about “spot on” — although the sugar/no sugar comment may be true, the texture is what’s right about it. Hearing it be described as a “heavy sponge” is just laughable to me since an American’s idea of a sponge cake is light and fluffy and nothing like the Victoria sponge over here in the UK (I am a Texan originally). Victoria sponge is often compared to a regular cake by Brits and seems to be the most similar to American cakes, but the texture is so different from one of our normal “birthday cake” type cakes. So yes, if I imagine a Victoria sponge much denser, then cornbread would maybe be classified as a very heavy sponge. But really, the two are so different they really shouldn’t be compared. Your cornbread looks like it could be one of many that I’ve had in the States – right down to the uneven color – and sounds like it was delicious πŸ™‚

    • I think I was expecting something a bit more like bread – I mean leavened – i mean bread is bread – this was more like a powdery brick. But one thing I’ve never been able to do is bake so what the hell..!!

  7. I won’t comment on authenticity. As a “foreigner,” you get a pass πŸ˜‰ Unless it’s something really egregious like adding truffle oil or something (don’t do that).

    All that counts is that it tastes good, and this looks like it tastes really good.

    Look how bright and shiny your kitchen is!

  8. well it all ended up looking pretty good…lol…..as for the “cornbread”…hmmm well having lived in Texas for a lot of years…not sure they would agree it was cornbread….but as long as you enjoyed it that’s all the matters in the end… πŸ™‚

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