Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chili Pie

Thanks to my pals at Google I discovered that versions of this dish can be found all over.  Silly me.  I always thought the Brits had the patent on shepard's pie.  If you are sitting there snickering, and wondering what rock I've been living under, please just let me enjoy my new discovery.

For a day or two anyway.  Pretty please.

Cottage pie, shepard's pie, crofters' pie, pastel de papa, pastel de carne, and cowboy pie are some of the names for a dish made with leftover meat, a vegetable or two, and a potato crusted top.  I've been catching up on my Wikipedia research.  No way I can tackle the Russian name without buying some vowels.  After vodka my Russian annunciation is pitiful.  Looks like the Swedish, in their crofters' pie, mix in "neeps" which is a type of turnip.  Now that I would like to try.  Love a turnip.

I was a little short on minced lamb (true shepard's pie), so I reckon the dish I made fits the cowboy pie label the best.  Chili was common for the cowboys on the trail, and that is the leftover meat I used for this version.  Austin had done a pretty good number on the leftover game day chili, so extra ground beef was needed to complete this dish.  There was enough chili gravy to work with.   We were just a little lite on the beef.   Seasoned beef best described as taco meat was blended in with the chili for the meat part of the dish.

Staying true to the chili pie theme I made a cheddar cheese mash for the top.  Add some garlic, onion, green chilies, corn, and jalapeño to end up with this Texan's version of cowboy pie.  A savory dish sure to hit you right in the comfort spot.

There were two screw ups worth mentioning.  The original idea I had was to add some crumbled bacon to the cheddar mash.  I forgot.  I really wish I had remembered that.  Bacon makes life better.

The other brain freeze was that the fresh jalapeno got a little lost since I just scattered it all over the top.  It would have been better to either layer it in with the corn, or stir it into the potato mash.

This is part of why I blog.  To remind myself of ideas that got lost in my cluttered mind.  Firefox, Chrome, and Explorer are kind enough to tell me where I've been.  How come I can't do that for myself?

I'm getting off track.  This is Chili Pie.

More comforting than the end of a politician's speech.

The Line Up        Print Recipe
Left over chili 1 1/2 - 2 cups
1 lb lean ground beef
3 - 4 garlic cloves minced
1 yellow onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
2 jalapeño minced
1 package frozen corn niblets
2 4 oz cans diced green chilies
5 - 6 large new potatoes cut in chunks
12 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Chili powder

Fixin The Dish
In a skillet brown ground beef until most of the water has reduced off.  You can drain the meat if you want.  I was using a lean grind and wanted to retain what little beef fat there was.  Add in the onion and garlic. Cook until onions are clear.  Season with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tbs chili powder and 1 tsp cumin.  Adjust seasoning to your taste.  Add green bell pepper.  Add in leftover chili and blend.  Let simmer for a few minutes then set aside.

While browning the beef, bring a pot of water to boil and season with salt, pepper and chili powder.  Boil potatoes for about 10 minutes until soft and drain.  Add butter to your pot and melt.  Add 1 tsp kosher salt, jalapeño, and the cooked potatoes.  Mash and add is cheese and milk.  Stir to blend well and cheese is melted.

In a casserole dish scoop in the meat mixture.  Spread on green chilies, then corn, and finally potato mash.  Bake in a 350 degree over for 45 - 60 minutes until potatoes are well browned.
See those poor little roasted jalapeno pieces.  Wait til next time.


  1. Hey Scott! That's one delicious looking, down home chili pie. We call that a casserole here, but I guess you didn't use a casserole dish did you (smile)?! We call everything a casserole...
    Hey, thanks so much for the award! I will check it out and conduct myself appropriately;-) Well, hopefully...

  2. Looks really good and I will surely try this out.

  3. Stella - You being you is just dandy with me. :-)

    Dan - Thank you sir. I'm not one to brag, but it really was good. Michelle has filed it in the "Do it again" file.

    Thanks Ya'll

    Cheers! Scott

  4. This looks really good!
    I once made something similar, Cornbread Tamale Pie:

    Onions, cheese, garlic, corn, Oh My!!!

  5. Yes, I think I'd take a chili pie over a shepherd's pie most any day of the week. Plus, I don't know where to buy any Russian vowels, either. Central Market? They're probably really expensive there ...

  6. Okay I much prefer chili pie over sherperd's pie oh yes bacon does make the world go round! love rich's comment (central market,lol)

  7. Amy - Tamale Pie sounds great. Love a tamale. Love a pie, so its got to work right.

    Rich - Pay Sajak over at Wheel of Fortune can hook you up.

    Sweetlife - I should have put that bacon in there. I know, I know.

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