Sloppy Joe Casserole with Cornbread Topping


Makes one (9- by 13- by 2-inch) pan / Serves 8 to 10


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 onion, diced

2 pounds ground chuck

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 jalapeño, cored, seeded and diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

1 cup ketchup

1 cup chili sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 bunch cilantro, chopped


1 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 (14.75-ounce) can cream corn

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 cup (4 ounces) grated Cheddar cheese


1.     Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

2.     Add the beef to the skillet, breaking it up as it cooks, and season with salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain off the fat from the skillet and add the jalapeño and garlic. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes more. Add the ketchup, chili sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce and red pepper flakes. Stir in 1/2-cup of water, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. If the mixture begins to get too dry, add a little more water.

3.      While the mixture is cooking, preheat the oven to 400°F.

4.     Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Pour into a 9- by 13- by 2-inch baking dish.


1.     Combine the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix thoroughly.

2.     Add the buttermilk, corn, eggs, oil, jalapeño and cheese and stir just to combine.

3.     Spread over the top of the Sloppy Joe filling and place in the oven to bake until the cornbread is golden brown, bubbling around the edges and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (If the top is getting too brown, cover with foil.) Remove from the oven and let sit about 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with a dollop of Avocado Crema (page TK) on the side.


Sidebar: In the Kitchen

For homemade creamed corn in place of the canned variety, use 2 cups of corn and increase the buttermilk by 1/2-cup.