Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Southern Living - The Meats Cookbook" - Chili Potpie

Date I made this recipe:  April 14, 2013

Southern Living-The Meats Cookbook by Southern Living Magazine
Published by:  Favorite Recipes Press
© 1971 (MCMLXXI)
Recipe:  Chili Potpie – p. 18

People, I know I often spend about as much time on this blog discussing the weather as I do discussing cookbooks and recipes, but our latest weather – a late “winter” snow storm – pushed me over the edge and into the “arms” of this meat cookbook.  I cannot be alone in this as the collective mood of the entire state of Minnesota is getting crabbier by the minute.  I mean come on – plowable snow in mid-April?  What??? 

Okay, fine, last year Minnesota was granted a pass by Nature in terms of weather although we experienced record-breaking heat on the 4th of July, but this is insane.  And in terms of cooking, this late (if ever) spring is causing havoc with my cooking planning.  By this time, I should be looking at salad recipes and maybe some light pastas or stuff that just screams spring.  But this is hard to do (not the screaming, mind you, because I’ve got that down pat) when the landscape looks like early December for crying out loud.  All that was needed the other day were the twinkle lights and a few Christmas carols.

And so food-wise, I coped with this annoying snowfall by selecting a heartier dish than normal and I knew just what I wanted:  Meat.  Make that lots and lots of meat.  Maybe a roast or a stew or…well, how about this chili potpie?  And I knew just the cookbook I wanted to use:  Southern Living – The Meats Cookbook, specifically because of that cover. Because why wouldn’t you purchase a cookbook with a cover photo of an olive-stuffed roast?  This leads me to discuss one of the questions I am often asked:  why do you buy the cookbooks you do?  There are many factors but I’d have to say “cover art” is the primary reason.

In this case, the cover art of this book drew me in as much as it repulsed.  I think it was the olives (green olives stuffed with pimento, the very kind I use in my martinis) that did it because I have seen many roast recipes in my day but never one quite like this.  But let’s review the year it was published, 1971, and put it in perspective of the times:  this was likely one fancy dish, good enough for photographing and for company!  It’s a double treat!!

Lucky for me and for you, there are better looking photos inside this book.  And then there are some not-so-better photos (and recipes) in this book, to wit:  Ripe Olive Cabbage Loaf (p. 34) where a meatloaf is essentially wrapped in a cabbage leaf (ew) or Lamb-Vegetable Salad (p. 115) that earned a “double-ew” from me.  Thankfully, these were offset by some really delicious-looking photos of steak.  And I love steak, but today’s recipe for chili potpie was selected for one reason only:  the book opened to this page when I took it off the shelf, it was relatively easy to make, and it had that “comfort food” feel to it.  And on a day when we started with sleet and then switched to freezing rain, I was all about comfort.

Now, I don’t have control of the weather (wish that I did) but it’s pretty much time for Nature to knock it the hell off already!  I need to move on.  I want spring food or summer food yet here I am thinking about Christmas cookies.  I have got to stop watching Twilight Zone reruns because kids, I feel like I’m living in it, to wit:  only in Minnesota can they test the tornado sirens (for tornado awareness week) during a snowstorm. Happy Spring?

Chili Potpie – submitted by Mrs. J.T. Springer, Lenorah, Texas – no serving size listed
3 tbsp onion flakes (or use fresh onion)
3 tbsp water
1 ½ pound ground beef, crumbled
1 tsp garlic salt
½ c. chopped bell pepper
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 1-pound can tomatoes (I used diced)
1 20-oz can ranch-style beans (I have no idea what that means so I bought a can of small red beans)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 ½  tsp salt
¾ cup cornmeal
1 4/ cup flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk
¼ cup bacon drippings
1 tbsp parsley
¼ cup grated cheese

Ann’s Note:  In order to get bacon drippings I would have had to make bacon and I didn’t feel like getting it out of the freezer so I substituted corn oil.

Combine the onion and water in a small bowl (or dice a small onion).  Saute the beef until partially done.  Add the onion, garlic salt and bell pepper and cook until brown.  Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer for 10 minutes.  Sift the cornmeal, flour, remaining salt and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Add the egg, milk and bacon drippings and stir until smooth.  Stir in parsley.  Pour the beef mixture into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.  Spoon cornmeal mixture around edge of the baking dish and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Ann’s Note:  I used a glass pie plate for making this recipe and it was fine except the cornmeal mixture spilled over the side before baking.  No problem:  I just put a baking sheet underneath it to catch the overflow!


Monika Kucsera said...

Hello Ann,
Oh it looks really good. Nice blog, great recipes. Always, enjoyed to read your post and cookery book reviews.
I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing your posts and ideas on Glipho? It's a quite new social publishing platform for bloggers, where you can connect to every social network accounts.

Ann said...

Thanks, Monika! I'm intrigued - tell me more about Glipho.