Spiced Beef Cornbread Cobbler

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Spiced Beef Cornbread Cobbler

When you purchase a half a cow, you end up with a bazillion pounds of ground beef. Now, true, it is wonderful grassfed, lean ground beef, but still, that’s alot of ground beef. You start collecting ground beef recipes the same way you used to collect salt and pepper shakers. You begin to wonder if there is anything wrong with having meatloaf and spaghetti bolognese several times a week. When you find a recipe called Spiced Beef Cornbread Cobbler at Epicurious, you make it.

And you like it. You don’t follow the directions exactly, because they have you dirty a skillet and a pie plate. You decide to do it all in cast iron skillet, which possibly makes the meat a little drier than if it was transferred to a pie plate. You like the subtle flavor of the cinnamon, the spice of the cayenne. You think that your dumplings would have been a little lighter if you hadn’t used the coarse ground cornmeal that you use for polenta. You smile as you erase one pound of ground beef from the list hanging above the freezer.

Spiced Beef Cobbler
Serves 4

1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
2 ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 9 1/2-inch (6-cup capacity) pie plate.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef and cook, breaking up large lumps, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sugar, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and briskly simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.

While beef simmers, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, egg, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl, then stir into cornmeal mixture until just combined. Fold in 1/2 cup cheese.

Spoon cooked spiced beef into pie plate with a slotted spoon, reserving juices in skillet. Skim off and discard fat from juices if desired, then pour juices over beef in pie plate.

Spoon 4 mounds of corn bread batter over beef, then sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cheese over batter. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of corn bread comes out clean, 15 to 25 minutes.

Serve cobbler warm.

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  1. says

    I believe this would be a fine way to use up one of those pounds of ground beef! And too much ground beef is why I haven’t yet bought half a cow. I hope you can return to collecting salt and pepper shakers soon.

  2. says

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this out! We’re off to buy a cow on the 20th of this month, all that organic beef is making me see recipes dancing round my head! Going grassfed and small-farm raised is the only way to go!

  3. says

    Well, first of all, it’s been a few years since I’ve purchased a half a cow, but why the heck didn’t I think of putting a list above the freezer?!?! Sure would have helped the process. 2nd, this looks pretty darn good. The flavors really sound like a delicious combination.

  4. says

    i think it’s safe to say that anything called a cobbler will be automatically accepted into my mouth. heck of a way to use a pound o’ beef, pam. :)

  5. says

    That actually sounds quite delish and fall like! I want to make a non turkey dish for my MILs house this Thanksgiving and this one might win out! I was thinking of using my favorite Jiffy corn bread mix for the dumplings…

  6. says

    I would love to buy half a cow, especially if it was grass-fed. I wonder if I have enough freezer space. I should look into that. I’m all for saving dirty dishes and using just one pan(LOL). This looks like a fun way to use ground beef. Great post.

  7. says

    Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.

    This looks excellent! All of the spices in the beef mix look so good. Of course, I am a sucker for any recipe that pairs meat with cinnamon. Don’t quite know why.

    I also really like cornmeal and cobblers. Delicious!

  8. says

    I just fell here via google search but when I read the first part of the post about the bagilion pounds of ground beef I was home. I have about half a bagilion left still and am here for just that reason. Can’t be making meat loaf and hamburgers three times a week. I think I will give this a try.

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