Cornbread topped beef chilli

Serves: 6
Course: Main Course
Cooking Time: 0 hr 40 mins
  • 380g minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans or kidney beans, drained
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 170g fine cornmeal polenta
  • 130g plain flour
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 80g butter, melted and cooled 

1 Preheat an oven to 180 degrees, or equivalent. Place one tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Fry the beef until browned and cooked through (five to eight minutes), then remove it from the pan. Add the onion and a little more olive oil, and sauté until soft. Add the pepper and garlic. Lower the heat and saute for a minute, stirring all the time so the garlic doesn't burn.

2 Add the cumin, smoked paprika and stir well for a few seconds before adding the tinned tomatoes. Put the beef back in the pan. Leave to simmer and reduce for 10 minutes. Season to taste.

3 Add the beans and warm through. Fold through the freshly chopped coriander then spread the bean mix into an oven-proof dish.

4 Mix all of the dry ingredients together for the cornbread in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, milk and melted butter together in a separate bowl or jug till just combined. Create a well in the centre and pour in the wet mix. Gently fold it all together till combined. It may seem wet but will thicken after a few minutes.

5 Spoon the cornbread batter over the top of the bean mix and spread it out gently. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes till the cornbread is puffed up and golden and the tomato sauce is bubbling.

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer