The puzzle, the thief & the casserole

It’s been a long time between recipe posts, but I made a corker on Sunday night that I wanted to share with you.

It’s a variation on a slow-cooked Mexican beef dish I’ve posted previously, but I’ve pimped it up with chipotles in adobo sauce and cheesy cornbread dumplings.

Are you in?

Forgive the dodgy styling. I wasn’t sure if the recipe would work, so I just chucked it in an old Pyrex dish, which was too small, so all the dumplings merged together to become a “topping”. And the shot is a bit blurry because I was battling steam. Not my finest work, but it tasted great. I also couldn’t find instant polenta, so I had to use normal polenta, which took about twice as long to cook.

RECIPE: Slow-cooked chilli beef with cheesy cornbread dumplings

2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5kg beef brisket, trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes


2 brown onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

2 tablespoons chipotles in adobo sauce (sounds exotic, but they sell it in the Mexican section at Woolies)

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes

1 cup beef stock

1 can kidney beans, drained


2 cups self-raising flour

1 cup instant polenta

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup grated tasty cheese (I used Mersey Valley pickled onion for added zing)

1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

METHOD: Heat oil and brown beef in batches. Set aside. Saute onions until soft, add garlic and cook for one minute. Add onions and beef to large oven-proof dish, add tomatoes, sugar stock, chipotles, cumin and paprika. Stir to combine, cover and cook at 160C for three and a half hours. Stir in kidney beans. If there’s too much liquid, thicken with a little cornflour.

Make dumplings: mix together all dumpling ingredients and place spoonfuls of the mixture on top of casserole. Bake uncovered at 180C for 20 minutes (or possibly 15 minutes longer if you can’t find instant polenta). Serve casserole with dollops of sour cream.

DD liked it so much he’s asked me to make it again this weekend.

As for the thief part, I stole DD’s new jigsaw puzzle. The youngest was transfixed by a beautiful one he’s currently putting together of an ocean baths, so I figured it might pass the iso time for us this week to get puzzling.

And to think I mocked ScoMo for making “essential” jigsaw puzzle remarks last month …

Song of the day: Donna Summer “Hot stuff”





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