One of my favorite chili recipes is this cornbread topped chili . However, when I make it, I often make it with cornbread from a box mix. I figured I better go all in and make the cornbread from scratch. Also, as the reviews for the cornbread topping were not so pleasant, I went with playing with this buttermilk cornbread recipe from AllRecipes and, I have to say, this recipe is sheer chili perfection. You can always play with the spices and make it as spicy as you like and, I love to think that chili is like a painting – no two are exactly alike.
There is something that is perfect about one pot meals – right down to baking the cornbread on top of the chili. I did tend to go overboard a bit on the cheese factor but, then again, who would be upset – certainly not me. Also, I used Ground Beef from Trader Joe’s and I was happy to hear that their ground beef is pink slime and additive free. No funky stuff for this gal, especially in chili! Plus, I made a promise to myself to try to make chili from scratch and it’s really simple. Some tomatoes, some spices, some meat and/or beans, simmer for a spell and you are done.
On to the Recipe:
Gather the Ingredients
Time to bloom the spices
I adore Fire Roasted Tomatoes – such a great flavor for this dish
Don’t Forget the Cocoa! Trust me – chocolate works great in chili
Time to marry the Cornbread and the Chili (and the cheese!)
Look at it in all its cheese puffed gloriousness
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 28 oz. can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 1/4 cup of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup of honey (depending on how sweet you like it.)
- 2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese
- Brown the ground beef over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Drain off the fat and set aside.
- Heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until soft.
- To the onion mixture, add the chili, coriander, cumin, and paprika and stir, allowing the heat to develop the spices a bit.
- Add the red pepper to the pot and sauté until slightly soft.
- Return the ground beef to the pan, add the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste, and beef stock and stir.
- When the mixture comes to a slight boil, add the cocoa and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Add the drained kidney beans and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and honey. When everything is combined, stir into the dry ingredients to make a slightly lumpy batter.
- Pour the cornmeal topping over the chili, spreading the cornbread topping 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 is bubbling.
- Let the chili stand for about 5 minutes once out of the oven before cutting the cornbread top to serve with a helping of the bubbling chili underneath.
- Garnish with your fave toppings (i.e. more cheddar, sour cream or whatever your heart desires).