Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beef and Cornbread Shepherd’s Pie Casserole

This recipe can be topped with cornbread or mashed potatoes.  It is a great way to use up those left-over mashed potatoes.  While you are preparing the meat mixture, you can roast your peppers in the oven.  The smell of the roasted peppers will drive everyone in the household hungry.  For this recipe, I use 1 red bell pepper, 1 poblano, and 2 jalapenos.  When I use cornbread for the top, I prefer the Martha White pre-packaged “Sweet Yellow” cornbread mix.  I like it, not only because of the flavor, but because I only have to add milk and egg and stir.  No sifting or measuring of ingredients with the exception of the milk. Only one package of cornbread mix should be used here, I made it one time using two packages and it came out too dry for our tastes. If you make your own cornbread, you may need to adjust the sauce with flour and water to make a gravy so the dish is not too dry. Also, you can add vegetables to this meat mixture sauce.  Mushrooms, green beans, hominy, almost any vegetable would work.  This recipe can be made without the vegetables, too, but I encourage everyone to try the roasted peppers.  They are the key ingredient for this dish. The meat mixture can be topped with either prepared corn bread mix or mashed potatoes.  Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy this recipe.


1 lb ground beef
1-2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce or tomato puree (your preference)
1 red bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
2 jalapeno peppers
1 15 oz can whole kernel corn drained (optional)
1 15 oz can pinto or black beans (optional)
½ cup of pre-shredded cheddar cheese (optional – for the cornbread)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ - 1 tsp garlic powder
1 pkg Martha White "Sweet Yellow" cornbread mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg


If you have a large cast iron skillet, you can prepare the whole meal in it.  If you don’t, you will need to start off preparing the meat on the stove top in a large skillet and then after preparing the sauce, place in a baking dish like a casserole dish prior to topping it with the mashed potatoes or cornbread mixture (whichever you are making).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place your peppers on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  I like to remove the seeds and slice them in half prior to roasting them. Either way will work, you will need to remove the seeds and the skin after roasting.

Meanwhile, brown your ground beef in the skillet. Do not season until it is done.  Drain off the fat.  After draining the fat, season your meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add 1-2 Tbsp of tomato paste to the meat and combine well.  Add your tomato sauce, corn and beans.  Chop your peppers and add as well.  Remove any seeds and skin. Turn to low or turn heat off after it is ready while preparing the topping (your mashed potatoes or cornbread mixture).

For Cornbread version of this recipe:

Preheat the oven for 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, prepare the cornbread mix per the manufacturer’s directions. For additional flavor, you can add ½ cup of pre-shredded cheddar cheese and 1 Tbsp of chopped jalapeno and 1 Tbsp chopped red bell pepper. After the sauce has cooked, move the sauce to a baking dish (if not using a cast iron skillet) and dab or spread the prepared cornbread batter over the top.  Bake the casserole for 17-20 minutes, or until the cornbread turns a light golden brown on top.

For mashed potatoes version:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Using left-over mashed potatoes, after the meat sauce has cooked, transfer the sauce to an oven friendly dish (if not using cast-iron skillet).  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.  Do not add cheese until this is done baking or the cheese will burn.  Cover with foil. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove from oven.  Remove foil and add ½ cup of shredded cheese over the top and insert under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts.

Recipe for mashed potatoes:

I don’t know anyone other than my daughters who probably don’t know how to cook these, but I am posting this for them.


4-6 medium potatoes
1 tsp salt
water (enough to cover potatoes)
¼ - ½ cup of milk
2 Tbsp butter

Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes into ¼ inch slices.  Place in a 4-quart sauce pan and cover with water.  Add salt.  Cook on high until it begins to boil – I usually place a lid on top to speed up the process, after it boils, turn heat down to Medium-high and take the lid off.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes until they are tender when stabbed with a fork or knife. When they get to this point, it is important to turn the heat down to low or remove them from the fire, over-cooked potatoes will make a sticky gluey mashed potatoes otherwise.  So drain them.  Using a electric mixer, mix them with the milk and butter.  Adjust the taste by adding more salt if necessary or more butter or milk.  Serve immediately. You can also mash them using a hand mixer or potato masher, but I usually make mine with the electric mixer.

Store any left-overs in the refrigerator or freezer and thaw and use for the recipe above.

1 comment:

Rupsek said...

Well, i tried this recipe, but i made the biggest mistake, i forgot to heat oil enough so donuts can be vell fried, actually i have recipe litlle bit diferent like yours. But respect to you posts. Your reader Matej