Chilli Corn Pie

Full-flavoured and wholesome, Silvana Franco's muffin-topped pie yields to a delectable spicy meat filling below
By Silvana Franco
Chilli Corn Pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 2 hrs marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg braising steak, cubed
  • 350 ml red wine
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 streaky bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 x 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 100 g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 sugar cube
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the muffin mixture

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125 g cornmeal or polenta
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100 g sweetcorn
  • 200 g mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 300 ml milk
  • 50 g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

Tips and Suggestions

; you can also bake the muffin mixture separately from the meat. Divide the batter between a paper-lined 12-hole muffin tin and scatter over the reserved cheese. Bake at 200C/gas 6 for 20 minutes, until firm to the touch.


1. Place the steak in a large bowl and pour over the wine and add the rosemary. Set aside for an hour or two, stirring from time to time - this tenderises and flavours the meat.

2. Heat the oil in a large, sturdy pan and cook the onion, garlic, and bacon for 3-4 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute more.

3. Add the steak, wine and rosemary to the pan. Stir in the chopped tomatoes then fill one of the cans with water and add that to the pan too.

4. Stir in the drained beans, chilli, paprika, sugar and add some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cook briskly for 10 minutes before lowering the heat. Simmer for 2 hours until the meat and beans are tender.

5. While the beans and meat are cooking make the muffin mixture.

6. For the muffin batter; preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

7. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and stir in the cornmeal (or polenta), baking powder, sugar, salt, corn kernels and three- quarters of the cheese. Crack the egg into a separate bowl and whisk in the milk and melted butter.

8. Stir the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients, taking care not to over-stir.

9. Spread the chilli mixture in a heatproof dish. Spoon over the muffin mix - don't worry if some of the chilli shows through. Scatter over the reserved cheese and bake at for 20 minutes or so until firm and risen.

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