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Crockpot Beef Chili with Cornbread Topping





2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. cracked black peppercorns
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup condensed beef broth (undiluted)
2 cans (10 oz. each) corn kernels, drained
1 can (1-1/4 lb.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup pimento-stuffed olives, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco or
my favorite, Grace's hot sauce, to taste (optional)

Corbread Topping

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup milk or
1 lg. egg, beaten
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 can chopped green chilies, including juice (optional)(4 1/2 oz./127mL)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (optional)


In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking meat up with the back of a spoon, until beef is no longer pink. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Drain off liquid in pan.

Reduce heat to medium and heat remaining oil in pan. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic, cumin seeds, pepper, chili powder, salt, allspice and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add cocoa and cornmeal and stir well. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, tomato sauce and beef broth and bring to a boil.

Pour mixture into slow cooker stoneware. Add corn and beans and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until hot and bubbling.

Add olives and green pepper to slow cooker and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding hot pepper sauce if you prefer a spicier chili.

TO MAKE CORNBREAD TOPPING: In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar and baking powder. Add melted butter, milk or buttermilk and egg and stir well until ingredients are combined. Add grated Cheddar cheese and chopped green chilies, including juice, and green onions, if using, and stir well.

Drop cornbread batter, by spoonfuls, over the top of the mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 to 40 minutes, until topping is set.

TIP: This quantity of topping works best in a large, oval slow cooker. If you're using a tall, narrow slow cooker, make half the amount of batter.

The 150 Best Slow Cooker recipes. J. Finlayson

Author's Comments

Children, adults and teenagers all love this savory chili with its unusual cornbread topping. A great finish to a day of hiking or skiing, all it needs is a big salad and some robust red wine. Serve with plenty of your favorite salsa, sour cream and finely chopped red or green onion. Serves 8 to 10.

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