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Diced!: KC – Corned Beef Starter Pot Pies

Today we have an entrant for the first course of the Diced! competition. Contestants were instructed to create or find a recipe for an appetizer, soup or salad containing the following ingredients: Corned Beef, Canned Corn, and Corn Flakes. They were instructed to make their dish and create a blog post about it, including pictures. You can help determine who advances to the next round. After the last post, I will post a poll where you can vote for contestants to move on. Vote for the post you like the best. You can vote because of the inventiveness, the yummyness, the use of ingredients, the quality of the writing and pictures or for any other reason. The poll will be active for one week only. Check back and vote. In the event of a tie, the Ranting Chef will choose who advances. More information about Diced! can be found here.

Due to the generosity of the following companies, we have some really awesome products as a prize to the winner of this Diced! competition. In addition to the prizes below, I am working to secure additional ones. The winner will receive:

Today’s contestant, KC likes to cook and eat and occasionally rant. She also likes to take on new challenges and figure out new ways to motivate myself and the people she leads. In addition to being a cooking fanatic, she’s also a full time Army officer and consulting systems engineer, so KC has to fulfill her gourmet tastes with everyday ingredients, relying on quality combinations and the strength of simplicity to do the trick. Here’s KC…

The Ranting Chef must have been watching late night sitcoms when he came up with the ingredient list for this round of diced, because his selections are pretty corny. As in corned beef, canned corn, and cornflakes.

Okay, I’ll wait for you to stop groaning. It was a terrible joke. There’s a reason that starting a stand-up comedy routine is NOT on my 101 goals in 1001 days list. But I do love a good challenge, which is why I jumped at the chance to take part in the Ranting Chef’s Diced competition, corny ingredients and all.

I don’t watch Chopped much, but I’m a huge fan of MasterChef and I love the mystery box challenge. My husband and I quarterback that competition worse than any football fans, talking through what we would make given the ingredients. So while Pat’s ingredients threw me for a minute {cornflakes? I don’t remember the last time I used cornflakes in anything, or canned corn for that matter}, we started brainstorming and the ideas started flowing.

There’s enough Irish in my veins that corned beef immediately makes me think of meat pies and pub food, so what could be more natural than a small starter meat pie? But there’s nothing more uniquely American than corn, so it would have to be something with an American flair. Slowly, this evolved into a style I’d call Southern-Irish pub grub, with corn and corned beef taking the main floor in the filling of an appetizer-sized pot pie with a cornflake based cornbread topping. Yum!

First off, I had to make some corned beef since I couldn’t find any in the commissary. If you’re interested in brining and slow-cooking your own, the recipe is over on my site, and it’s tasty!  Once I’d made and shredded the corned beef, I played with the rest of the ingredients until I had a tasty blend of sweet and savory that didn’t last long with my husband and friends, my favorite beta testers. I wish I could whip some up for you to taste as well, but hope you enjoy the virtual dinner party we’re having here at Diced!

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Corned Beef Starter Pot Pies

Makes 8 starter pot pies using large ramekins

What you’ll need:

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For the filling:

  • About 1 lb corned beef, shredded
  • 7 oz smoked bacon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 carrot {or handful baby carrots}, diced
  • 7 oz beer, preferably a rich English ale
  • 7 oz beef stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley

For the cornbread topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes {crush first, then measure}
  • 2-3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • White pepper and smoked paprika

How to make them:

1. In a large shallow pan, fry up the bacon until it’s nice and crisp. Then place it on a plate covered in paper towels and let it cool.

2. In the same pan, pour in the olive oil and, if you’re feeling adventurous, a dash of bourbon, and sauté the onion, garlic, and carrots until the onions are translucent.

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3. Add the bacon, corn, ale, beef stock, and corned beef to the pan. Bring the mixture to a nice roiling boil and shake some white pepper and smoked paprika over the top. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.

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4. While all this wonderfulness is simmering, heat your oven to 400F.

5. Let’s make the cornbread topping. Crush the cornflakes until you’ve got 1 cup worth. Then combine the flour, cornflakes, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder together until they’re pretty evenly mixed.

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6. Melt the butter, and stir together with the milk and egg. Add the dry ingredients in Step 5 and mix until the mixture is lumpy. Just like regular cornbread, it doesn’t have to be absolutely mixed together.

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7. By this point, your corned beef mixture should be nice and tender and juicy. Divide it among the 8 large ramekins, leaving about a half inch of space for the cornbread topping.

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8. Spatula the cornbread topping over the filling until it’s about even with the top of the ramekin. It will not rise very much, so don’t worry about it overflowing.

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9. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Let cool 3-5 minutes and serve.

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I used 7 ounces of Newcastle English Ale for this recipe, so it seemed right to serve up the starter pot pie with a nice cold glass of ale. It’s a delicious and filling combination of sweet and savory that begs to be served on a cool autumn evening.

The biggest thing I can warn you about with this recipe, though, is this: DON’T ADD SALT! There’s more than enough salt in the brined corned beef, the canned corn, and the rest of the ingredients to carry this dish!

This dish could easily be baked in a larger dish and made into a full meal {which my husband and I have since done}, but as part of a larger offering, I would stick with the Southern-style pub grub theme. The hard part is coming up with a lighter offering to offset the heaviness of a meat pie starter. I’d offer it with a Southern-style fish and chips: Cajun spiced fish and vegetables. And I’d finish it with a trifle for dessert.

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Appetizer2, Baking3, Beef, Beer, Fried, Pork2, Recipes, Vegetable4

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

11 Comments on “Diced!: KC – Corned Beef Starter Pot Pies”

  1. December 7, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    This looks amazing! I think I salivated a little just looking at the pictures! lol!

    • December 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks Brandie! They were really tasty – and just about perfect with a cold ale :)

  2. December 7, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    I love making corned beef pies for Saint Paddy’s Day and I never seem to have enough.

    This looks like just the right size for individual portions and smaller groups. I particularly like preparation in the the veggies she sautés and the list of ingredients.

    Most excellent!

    • December 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks so much! It’s a nice size for a starter if you’re serving something lighter for the main course, or you can serve it as a stand-alone.

  3. December 7, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Looks wonderful!

  4. December 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Nice work! Bourbon? English ale? I like your style. These look pretty dang good.

    Also, good job making your corned beef.

    • December 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      Thanks, Misha! They were really tasty! Before this competition, I used to never cook with cornflakes, and now I’m using them in so many things – I love how the cornbread topping turned out!

  5. Christy
    December 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    YUMMY!!!

  6. Kanshu
    December 8, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    hmmmm. Thanks for the recipe!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Challenge Accepted | Sunday Currently, vol. 25 - December 8, 2013

    […] Cooking…my Pinterest boards, or at least a lot of things there. I tried out this crock-pot melt-in-your-mouth meatloaf and it really is as advertised! I’m also in love with these paninis and these raviolis from Amanda at Marshalls Abroad – seriously, can you believe her beautiful food styling? And these porter-glazed brownies are a must make. Oh, and voting is open this whole week for this round of “Diced” – so vote for my recipe at the Ranting Chef’s blog! […]

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