Firehouse Chili & Cornbread Casserole – Food Wishes

Firehouse Chili & Cornbread Casserole – Food Wishes

March 6, 2020 100 By William Morgan


hello this is chef john from food wishes
comm with firehouse chili and cornbread casserole that’s right everybody knows
that firemen make the best chili many using a recipe very similar to this and
the only way I know of to make that chili even better is by topping it with
a cheesy corn bread crust and by the way if you think this stuff is just like
eating a bowl of chili with a piece of cornbread well then you’ve never had
this stuff so with that let’s go ahead and get started
and we’ll begin by tossing a diced onion into a lightly olive oil chili pot set
over high heat we’ll also toss in a couple teaspoons of
kosher salt as well as a couple pounds of ground beef and personally I go for
the 85 215 lean to fat blend but even something a little leaner would work
here but anyway that’s up to you I mean you are after all the fire chief
of how fatty your beef but either way what we’ll do for the next five minutes
or so is take a wooden spoon or a spatula or a wooden spatula and we’ll
cook this while breaking up the meat to his smaller crumbles as we can and every
time I do this I get an email or comment from someone that tells me I should be
using a potato masher since that’s the best tool for crumbling this meat which
it might be but I’ve always used this flat wooden spatula and when it comes to
cooking it’s not always about what the best tool is it’s about what the best
tool is for you so what I’m trying to say is you should probably try a potato
masher here and see how you like it but anyway once we have that meat crumbled
up and browned we’re gonna go ahead and toss in a couple tablespoons of flour
and we will stir that in and in case you’re wondering I don’t usually add
flour to chili but here in this big casserole format I think I want a little
bit to help tighten up the juices and then what we’ll do once that’s been
stirred in and cooked for a couple minutes let’s go ahead and toss in some
diced poblano pepper as well as some crushed or finely minced garlic followed
by our classic chili seasonings including of course some chili powder
some ground cumin or cumin if you’re from uptown we’ll also toss in some
freshly ground black pepper and of course some Cayenne as well as a nice
big pinch of dry oregano and once all that’s in there we’ll give it a stir and
cook that for about two or three minutes before we move on to adding our tomato
product which we’re going to do in two forms
okay we’re going to use a can of diced tomatoes as well as a can of crushed
tomatoes and if you’re noticing those little black dots that’s because I
bought the fire roasted varieties which is pretty much available for any tomato
product these days and then we will finish up with a couple cups of nice
cold fresh water and because those tomato cans probably have a little bit
of product still stuck on the inside it seems like a good idea to use those to
transfer the water in and then what we’ll do after we stir that in is simply
wait for this to come up to a simmer and as soon as it does we’re gonna want to
give it a stir and check for thickness all right whenever we use flour for a
sauce or a super stew we can’t tell how thick it’s going to be until it starts
to boil so as soon as your chili starts bubbling we’ll want to give it a stir
and observe and after doing so I decided my needed another splash of water
especially since we’re gonna finish this by letting it simmer for about an hour
during which time of course some evaporation will occur so we’ll go ahead
and adjust that as we see fit and then we’ll lower our heat down to medium-low
and like I said we will cook this for about an hour stirring occasionally and
about halfway through that time after about thirty minutes we have to make a
major decision and that’s whether there’s going to be any beans in the
scene and with apologies to my friends in Texas I will be adding some beans and
for this I’m recommending kidney beans and if you can’t find those pancreas
beans are also very nice and that’s it all we need to do is stir those in and
we’ll let that simmer for another thirty minutes or so or until we decide it’s
done since only we know for sure and right here I thought mine was looking
just about perfect which means my firehouse Chili’s ready just as soon as
I give it a taste to make sure it has enough salt and spice and I decided to
did which means we can go ahead and very carefully transfer this into our
casserole dish and it’s right about here when we’re gonna figure out if the dish
we’re using is the right size for the amount of chili we made and while this
was closed it was too much okay we’re gonna need to leave about an inch at the
top so we can put our cornmeal crust on so I went ahead little some into a large
mug and I went ahead and had what we call in the business a chef snack which
is one of the many perks of cooking and that’s it once we have the right amount
in there we’ll go ahead and take a spoon to make sure everything is evenly
distributed and yes of course we could just use a
bigger baking dish or make this with less ingredients but I decided not to do
either of those things and I got a snack and then what we’ll do once our chili
set let’s go ahead and mix up our cornbread topping which is going to
start with a couple boxes of store-bought corn muffin mix and while I
won’t give the brand I will give you the color sky blue and then to that I’m
gonna add some grated cheddar cheese which is optional but also mandatory and
then we’ll finish this with a couple large eggs and a cup a nice cold fresh
milk and that’s it we’ll just take a whisk and mix this until completely
smooth and by the way in the recipe you’re gonna notice I mean you use a
little extra milk than the package calls for but I think having this cornbread
batter a little thinner works better for the casserole application speakin which
because it’s bad are so runny we don’t want to just pour it over all right what
we’ll do is apply big spoonfuls over the top until pretty much the entire surface
is covered and then we’ll go ahead and drizzle batter around the outside around
the outside around the outside as well as into and over any spot that needs it
and yes I am filling this up dangerously high but please note we placed our dish
on a sheet pan since if you’re assembling this like I am there’s
roughly a 100 percent chance there’s going to be some spillage but don’t
worry the final appearance is worth it and then before we pop this in the oven
I like to sprinkle over a little more cheddar cheese and that’s not totally
necessary but really what is and that’s it as soon as that’s been cheesed we
will very very very carefully transfer this into the center of a 400 degree
oven for about 30 minutes or so or until our cornbread crust is cooked and it
looks like this man that looks good and we actually had a surprisingly small
amount of spillage all right we did have a little bit as you can see in this shot
which I’ve cleverly hid in the back because of pictures but considering how
high I filled this nothing too traumatic and if you’re not sure it’s done you can
always test with a toothpick which should come out clean okay if it comes
out with wet batter put it back in until it’s done but mine was perfect so I went
ahead and served up and it’s gonna be kind of hard to get with the spoon but
that extra crispy part of the cornbread that’s sort of flowing over the edge of
the dish you’re gonna want to peel some of that
up and eat it yes that does qualify as another chef snack but anyway we will
spoon or ladle that into a dish and then I like to garnish with a little bit of
sour cream and if I have it around a little bit of torn cilantro which I
really did want just on the sour cream but unfortunately a couple rogue leaves
have their own ideas so I had to turn off the camera and spend five minutes
fixing it like I wanted at which point I grabbed a spoon and proceeded to dig
into what is one of the great chili experiences of all time and it’s not
like there’s anything wrong with just eating a bowl of chili with a piece of
cornbread that is like a perfect experience too but in my opinion this is
just slightly more perfect okay that cornbread crust bakes just like regular
cornbread except underneath we had all that flavorful aromatic chili which is
going to kind of steam our cornbread as it bakes creating something you have to
taste to believe and above and beyond the insanely good textures here the
other thing that works so well about this is that our cornbread crust is
relatively sweet which of course pairs perfectly with that spicy meaty savory
chili underneath so I just love everything about this plus what better
thing to serve to a large group of friends which by the way is why chili
whether it’s just in a powder serve like this is such a popular menu item in a
firehouse so thank you firemen for your service and your chili and I think I can
speak for all of them when I say we really do hope you give this a try soon
so please follow the links below for the ingredient amounts the principle written
recipe and much more info as usual and as always enjoy
you you