Last night was the season premiere of The Walking Dead. I happen to absolutely love TWD and, if you don’t, I forgive you. Mr. Comfortable and I go to Pete’s house to watch the show and I have been itching for it to return. But first I had to take care of dinner. In the spirit of trying to like fall I decided to make a cold weather dish. It was a bit strange though. Earlier I’d been outside in a t-shirt and shorts while Remy and Henry played. It was so warm it felt more like early summer than late October. But, being a semi-good sport I came inside and made Bam’s Beef Chili with Cornbread Croutons.
First I browned some ground beef, seasoned with salt and pepper, and when that was nearly cooked through I added one medium onion (chopped) to the pan.
The best way to crush up the whole tomatoes is by hand!
I use one can each of dark and light red kidney beans for this chili. I rinse them well before putting them in the pot.
When I’ve combined the ground beef mixture, the crushed tomatoes, and beans I add about 1 1/2 cups of tomato juice. It intensifies that rich tomato flavor.
I mix about 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, and a tiny bit of sugar to cut the acid a bit. I’ll let the chili simmer for about an hour then taste it and adjust the seasonings.
While the chili is simmering I mix up a batch of cornbread and pour it into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. This will bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes. The cornbread will be thin but that’s what I want for the croutons.
After the cornbread has cooled for about 10 minutes in the pan I remove it and, using a bread knife, cut it into croutons. I’ll put these on a cookie sheet in the oven (now turned off) to let them crisp up. I don’t want soggy croutons in my chili!
This chili is filling and delicious and the cornbread croutons give it great texture!
Bam’s Beef Chili with Cornbread Croutons
For the chili
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed, undrained
- 1 can dark red kidney beans
- 1 can light red kidney beans
- 1/4 cup chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
For the cornbread
- 1 box Jiffy Mix cornbread muffin mix (or make a batch from scratch)
- Brown the ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper.
- When the beef is nearly cooked through add the onions.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and the liquid to the beef mixture.
- Drain and rinse both cans of kidney beans and add to the chili.
- Mix in about 1/2 the chili powder, garlic powder, and sugar.
- Reduce heat and simmer the chili for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- While the chili is simmering make a batch of cornbread muffin mix and spread it in a greased 8 x 8 inch pan.
- Bake the cornbread at 400 F for about 20 minutes. Turn the oven off.
- Allow cornbread to cool for 10 minutes then, using a bread knife, cut it into crouton size pieces.
- Spread the croutons on a baking sheet and return to oven.
- When the chili has simmered for an hour, taste and adjust seasonings.
- Cook the chili for another 45 minutes to an hour.
- Ladle into bowls and top with cornbread croutons.
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
Serve with a tossed salad for a hearty, delicious meal!