Cowboy Pie

Pot pie is diced chicken and vegetables and gravy, topped with either biscuit or pie crust

Shepherd’s pie is minced lamb and vegetables and gravy, topped with mashed potatoes.

But what is it with beef??

A lot of the time, it’s still called shepherd’so pie.  Someone on Facebook was musing, re: a shepherd’s pie recipe that used beef, why wasn’t it called cowboy pie or butchers pie?  Shepherds pie made no sense!

She’s right.  With beef, it should really be called cottager’s pie.  But cowboy pie is a great name.  It should be a thing.  And now it is. 


Okay, chili-cornbread bake has been around for ages.  But it should really be called this.

Cowboy Pie

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

If you have the chili already made, this is a quick and easy bake.  Otherwise, it’s time to make some.  

  • 2 lb. ground beef  
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 -3 Tbsp ground ancho chile
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp masa

Brown the ground beef in a heavy bottomed pot over high heat.  When the meat is mostly browned, throw in the rest of the ingredients.  When it starts bubbling, drop the heat to low and allow it to simmer on low for an hour or two.

You could add cooked, drained beans (pinto or red kidney).  You could add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.  But then it wouldn’t be Texas chili.  Apparently.

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Once you have your chili, pour it into a casserole pan – this is enough for an 8×11 baker – and mix up your cornbread.

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup shortening, melted

This is my standard cornbread, but I use a tad more shortening when I’m using the cornbread as a topping compared to when I make straight cornbread.  It is enough batter to cover the 8×11 pan.

Bake for 30 minutes at 400F.

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