Bacon Jalepeno Skillet Cornbread and Cheater’s Pot Roast Stew

So maybe posting something I’m calling Cheater’s Stew on Valentine’s Day sends the wrong message. Not to worry, this recipe will enhance, not harm your relationship. It’s so easy and has minimal hands-on time, giving lots of time for… other things. Mopping the floor, for instance.

When you make a pot roast with root vegetables (in this case, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips), freeze the leftovers. Now, leftover pot roast is pretty darn good on its own. But if you want something different yet delicious, try this: Grab your leftovers out of the freezer. Defrost just enough that you can dump everything into an oven-proof pot. Pour a large can of crushed tomatoes over the top. Add one big clove of crushed garlic. Put the lid on. This goes in your oven at 300 degrees. Don’t bother with preheating the oven. Just let the pot simmer simmer simmer, lid nice and tight, for about 2 hours. Check it out. Use the back of a big spoon to smash up any big pieces of veggies. Smoos any big pieces of meat too. If it’s getting too thick or dry, add some water or beer or wine or stock, whatever delicious liquid you like. Put it back in the oven for another hour or so. Taste a little, and add salt and pepper as needed. Maybe some paprika too. There you go: Cheater’s Pot Roast Stew.

Since you’ve got all this time while the stew is cooking, and you’ve probably worked up an appetite… mopping, you should make something to go with it. Make some Bacon Jalapeno Skillet Cornbread.

Bacon Jalapeno Skillet Cornbread

adapted from Joy of Cooking

6 slices bacon
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup corn flour (Use 1 1/2 cups cornmeal total if you don’t have corn flour)
3/4 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk or milk substitute
2 pickled jalapeno slices, or more for spicier cornbread

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until nice and crispy. Set the bacon slices aside.

Whisk together the cornmeal, corn flour, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pour the bacon grease that’s in the cast iron skillet into a bowl and whisk in the milk and then the eggs. Pour this wet mixture into the dry mixture and quickly mix to combine, but do not over mix. Crumble the bacon into the bowl, and dice the jalapeno into the bowl. Kitchen scissors work well for both of these jobs, and then you don’t have to wash a cutting board.Stir briefly to combine

Pour the batter back into the cast iron skillet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until brown on top. Serve right away.

 

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