One of my fridge staples is Genuardi’s homemade chili. On those nights when I’m running crazy late, it has saved my butt. Making chili from scratch has not been a priority on the radar. However, during a burst of culinary creativity (and a repeat of Nigella Lawson episodes on the DVR), Nigella Lawson’s Cornbread Topped Chili Con Carne seemed like the perfect one pot meal. One confession – I did use cornbread mix instead of her homemade cornbread topping. I topped the cornbread mixture with shredded cheddar and I have to say this recipe was out of this world. Only one change I think I would make is to use ground cardamom instead of the pods because biting into those pods isn’t always a pleasant experience. Also, like any FoodNetwork.com recipe, please make sure to read the reviews and comments. I read that often the cinnamon in Nigella’s cornbread topping did not work out well. (Again, I’m thankful I improvised with a box mix). Do not – stress DO NOT skip the secret ingredient – you will thank me later….
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried or crushed chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 5 cardamom pods, bruised
- 2 red peppers, seeded and finely diced
- 3 pounds 4 ounces ground beef
- 7 cups canned chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cocoa (DO NOT LEAVE OUT!!!)
- 3 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups cornmeal
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (See reviews / Might want to reduce)
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups grated Cheddar
- 2 cups sour cream
- Ground paprika, for dusting
- 3 3/4 cups grated Cheddar
- Special equipment: Very large pan
- In a large pan or dutch oven, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until softened.
- Add the chili, coriander, cumin, and crushed cardamom pods and stir well.
- Add the peppers then break up the ground beef into the pan and, using a fork, keep turning it to separate it as the meat browns.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, tomato puree, and water stirring to make a rich red sauce.
- When the chili starts to bubble, stir in the cocoa.
- Add the beans and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours.
- At this point, you can cool and freeze the chili, or just keep it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pour the chili into a large, wide dish or keep in the pan you cooked it in if it is ovenproof.
- Either prepare the cornbread mix if you are going to take a shortcut, adding the cheddar and honey to it or prepare it from scratch.
- Combine the salt, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, honey, and oil in a bowl and stir into the dry ingredients.
- Pour the cornmeal topping over the chili con carne, taking care to spread over the top as evenly as possible.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the cornbread.
- Bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until the cornbread topping is risen and golden and the chili underneath is bubbling. How long this takes depends on the how cold or hot the chili was when it went into the oven.
- Let the chili stand for about 5 minutes once out of the oven before cutting the cornbread top into squares or slices to serve with a helping of chili underneath.
- Top with your favorite topping of choice, whether it's paprika dusted sour cream, some grated sharp cheddar or even some guacamole.
Slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson.
Gather Your Ingredients….
Time For The Secret Ingredient…
The Secret Ingredient….
Add The Cornbread Topping and LOTS of Cheese…
Hot Out Of The Oven…..
Chili Hits The Spot….
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