This is more like a casserole than a cornbread, and our taste testers loved that. This is a great family dinner, nice and filling without being too much. Mexican cuisine is heavily rooted in meals made with simple ingredients that big groups can enjoy, and that has inspired this dish.
You could use your favorite cornbread mix for this recipe or make your mix from scratch. We used Jiffy brand Vegetarian Corn Muffin Mix. The ground beef we chose was the mix of 93% lean and 7% fat. This means that it had less fat to drain after the meat had been browned in the cast iron skillet. You want to break up your meat as much as possible while it is cooking because the desired texture of the meat is crumbly. 2% milk was our milk of choice, but 1% would do just fine if you wanted to cut down on the fat in this recipe even more.
There are three different options for seasoning blends that would taste delicious in this dish. You could use our Al Pastor Taco Seasoning blend, which is the one we used. Manzanillo Mexican Seasoning, which is a spicier option. Jeff decided against using this seasoning because he wanted something less spicy. Finally, you have the option of Taco Seasoning, which would work just as well as the others.
Do not try to replace the creamed corn in the ingredients list. Jeff said firmly, “it has to be creamed for the texture and the flavor of the thing. Regular canned corn won’t work.” Our taste testers mentioned that the sweetness of the creamed corn was nice in contrast to the rest of the very savory elements of the recipe. In place of the chunky salsa, we used ranchero sauce, which was another choice the taste testers loved.
You want to layer the cornbread batter on both the top and bottom, though the order of the other middle layers is less important. Sprinkle your cheese on the top layer of cornbread. We used a cheddar jack mix but you can use whatever kind of cheese you’d prefer. The cast iron skillet was another star in this excellent recipe. Since cast iron retains heat for a long time, it allowed our taste testers to enjoy it warm, which is exactly how cornbread with zero or a dozen extra ingredients should be enjoyed.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 3 Tablespoons Al Pastor Taco Seasoning
- 1 package Jiffy brand Vegetarian Corn Muffin Mix
- 1/3 cup 1% milk
- 1 egg
- 1 can cream style corn
- 3/4 cup of chunky salsa, any brand
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brown ground meat on medium high heat breaking up meat as it cooks.
- Add Taco Seasoning to ground meat and stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, combine corn muffin mix, milk and egg, mix until batter has a smooth consistency.
- Spray an 8 inch cast iron skillet or 9x9 inch baking pan with pan spray and add 1/2 cornbread batter to the bottom of the skillet/baking pan.
- Layer seasoned ground meat, cream corn and salsa on top of cornbread batter.
- Add the remaining cornbread batter to the top of the mixture. Use a spatula to spread the mix and completely cover the layers.
- Sprinkle cheese on top of the cornbread batter.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until top of cornbread is golden brown.
- Cool before serving.