Discernably Me!

Chili Polenta Casserole


1 onion

1 lb ground beef

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp red chili powder

1 tsp oregano

3/4 cup Hot Pace Picante

1-6oz can tomato paste


6 cups water

2 cups dry polenta


1-16oz can pinto beans; strained

1 cup grated cheese

To make the chili, process or dice the onion and saute it with the ground beef. While both are cooking, add the cumin, oregano, and chili powder. After the beef is cooked, add the picante and tomato paste. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over low heat. It should be very thick. Set aside.

Polenta is easy. Boil 6 cups water. Add 2 cups dry polenta. Reduce heat to simmer. Within 5 minutes, the mixture thickens into a slurry. Spoon the polenta into a form to set. I used a tupperware container designed for bread storage and I lined it with plastic wrap. It made the polenta removal easier and, after an hour, gave me a 6x6x4in yellow brick of goodness. If you need to cool it faster, refridgerate it for about 30 minutes.

Remove the polenta from its form and place it on a cutting board. Slice the polenta as you go into 1/2 inch thick slices. I found that my thinnest knife worked best for this. Lay the polenta slice flat in a well oiled baking dish and smear the top of it with a good amount of the chili mixture. Add a layer of the strained beans and a bit of the cheese. Place another slice of polenta on top of the first and repeat with chili and cheese.

Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes.

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