This is a classic Dad recipe: looks a bit of a mess, tastes pretty good. On top of that, it’s perfect for using up leftovers from the fridge, it’s almost as good reheated as fresh, only gets 2 pans dirty (3 if you count whatever you use to melt the butter in…or you could use olive oil, I guess), and budget-friendly. It’s basically a shepherd’s pie cooked in a skillet, with a mixture of vegetables and sausage instead of lamb and cornbread instead of mashed potatoes on top.
We used to make it with Jiffy cornbread mix, but since I can’t eat wheat anymore, we had to look up a spelt cornbread recipe for this iteration. It turned out just about as well as before, and it’s probably quite a bit healthier (given the abundance of sugar and lard in the Jiffy mix). The specific vegetables, protein, and spices written below are just suggestions; this could just as easily go a little more Tex-Mex with chili powder and jalapenos, or a different spin on Mediterranean with a little white wine.
The photos show a 1.5x recipe of cornbread spread over the top of a 12-inch skillet. I personally prefer lower cornbread-to-filling ratio, so I’d tentatively recommend a single recipe of cornbread to top the same amount of filling, but it might be harder to spread.
Yield: ~6 servings.
Recipe credit: my dad.
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package (~1 lb) uncooked sausage (e.g. hot Italian)
2 peppers, chopped
~1 quart tomatoes (frozen, or from 28-oz can)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning mix (or more oregano, basil, and marjoram)
1-2 tsp fennel seeds
3 c chopped spinach (or baby spinach)
1-1.5 recipes cornbread (recipe follows)
Season a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with olive oil. Heat the skillet over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent. Add the sausage and garlic and continue to saute, breaking up the sausage, until it is cooked. Add peppers and saute until soft. Add tomatoes and spices and continue to cook until tomatoes break down and sauce is reduced to a very thick consistency (you may want to strain off some of the juice before adding). In the meantime, prepare cornbread batter. Stir spinach into the skillet mixture and cook until just reduced. Spread the cornbread batter over the skillet and sprinkle with millet. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until cornbread is baked through.
Serve with hot sauce, honey, butter, and Parmesan at the table for individual seasoning!
Yield: 9×9-inch pan of thick cornbread, or 12 muffins.
(Roadkill Bread: use 1 recipe for a thin cornbread layer or 1.5 for a thicker layer.)
Adapted from Uncommon Commonness.
1 c cornmeal
1 c spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder (I’d add a pinch more)
1/2 tsp salt
1.5-2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c + 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
Stir together dry ingredients. Add eggs, honey, butter and milk, and yogurt. Stir until just mixed. For muffins, spoon batter into greased muffin tins. For cornbread, spread into buttered 9×9-inch pan. For Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes (or slightly less time for a thinner layer over roadkill bread).