Recipe: Jalapeno Cornbread Beef Casserole in the Crockpot


You know it is a family-favorite recipe when a toddler’s handwriting is all over it…

When Logan was a little baby I used my crock pot all the time. This is one of those recipes we used to eat a few times a month because it was easy, filling and pretty darn affordable.As you can tell by Logan’s notation’s in red, this recipe has been modified a few times, tweaked according to our tastes, and of course made slightly more complicated. However, if you skip the optional ingredients, you still get a delicious dish, if slightly more mild.

The recipe below is a modified version of one published in 2004’s  101 More Things To Do With a Slower Cooker by Stephanie Ashcraft and Janet Eyring. The book is small, spiral-bound, and well worth purchasing if you are in need of some slow-cooker ideas.

…If you read my blog you know I’m generally hesitant about cookbooks and prefer online sources for recipes because I can read comments, tweaks, reviews of those dishes. This cookbook, and 2003’s 101 Things To Do With a Slow Cooker from the same authors, however, are exceptions to this rule. I’ve never had a bad recipe from either of the books.  WITH THAT SAID–these recipes are generally made up of processed ingredients and are not particularly new, unique or complex. That’s great for busy parents who don’t have cooking skills and just want to make something at home; it’s like an entry-level book for brand-new home cooks (like I was as a new mother who didn’t know her way around a kitchen yet)…but the book might not be as satisfying for those of us who prefer fresh, unprocessed and more exceptional ingredients …hence the modifications, below.

This recipe is for a 3-4.5 qt sized slow cooker; double the recipe for 6-7 qt crock pot.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground beef

6 or so slices of bacon (use for grease but is optional)

1 onion, chopped

1/4 finely chopped jalapenos (optional)

1 can (10.75 oz) condensed tomato soup

1 can  (15oz)whole corn, drained

1-2 TBSP chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 c water

Topping:

2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix (like Martha White) OR 1 pouch corn bread mix (6.75oz about)

1 egg

2 TBSP butter plus more for greasing the crock pot

1 1/3 c milk if using corn meal mix; 1/3 C milk if using a pouch of cornbread mix

1 c grated cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Cook up bacon; set aside (place in freezer for use another day or crumble and add to this recipe either at the end as a topping or in the beef mixture at the beginning).

Saute onion and jalapeno in bacon grease until tender; separate jalapeno from onion, set both aside. Add hamburger to remaining bacon grease and brown.

Once ground beef is browned, place it and the onion in a greased  3 to 4.5 qt crock pot. Stir in soup, corn, chili powder, salt and water.

In a separate bowl, mix corn meal mix, egg, butter and milk together. Spread batter evenly over the top of meat mixture already in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low heat 5-6 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.Sprinkle cheese over the top for the final 15 minutes of cooking. Makes 6-8 servings.

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