Cornbread Chili Pie
Actor Matt Barr shares a savory recipe for Texas Chili with Cornbread Crust.

Ingredients for the chili

  • 6 ounces bacon, cut in ½” pieces
  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • 3 medium dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 medium dried pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 cups very hot water
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 28-ounce can puréed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • Ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

For the cornbread:

  • 3 - 8.5 oz. boxes instant cornbread mix (like Jiffy brand)
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 - 4 oz. can green chiles, drained

Recommended toppings:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped white onion
  • Avocado
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Crispy bacon pieces


  • Blender
  • 6 qt dutch oven


1. Add the bacon to the dutch oven with a lid over medium heat. Allow the fat to render and bacon to crisp. Remove the crispy bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside to use as a topping if desired. Briefly fry the chiles until fragrant, about 15 seconds on each side. Remove the chiles to a blender, cover with the very hot water, and let steep while you brown the meat.

2. Season the beef with two teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Brown the meat, breaking it up into small chunks in the leftover chile oil over medium-high heat until well-browned, about 10 minutes. When all of the meat is browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

3. Add the garlic and onions to the fat in the pot and saute until browned. Add the oregano, cumin, thyme, paprika, and garlic powder to the pot and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits off the pan. Blend chiles in blender until smooth. Pour the chili paste into the pot and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, browned meat, and two teaspoons each of salt and pepper.

5. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low, cover partially and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as necessary.

6. An hour before serving, prepare the cornbread mixture. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the milk and cornbread mix in a large bowl. Add in the green chiles and stir well. Give the chili a good stir before adding the cornbread mixture. Carefully layer cornbread mixture over the chili so that the two don't mix. Use the back of a spoon to evenly distribute the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven up to 400 degrees and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cornbread is golden. Allow to sit for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with toppings of your choice.

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