• Serves 6-8
• Preparation Time: 25 minutes
• Cooking Time: 30 minutes
One of my favorite dishes to serve to family and friends is a tasty elk cornbread casserole. It’s easy to prepare and uses ground elk, which you hopefully have plenty of in your freezer.
This casserole is a quick and easy crowd-pleaser, combining elk, chopped onion, yellow bell pepper, sweet corn, a blend of spices and mild shredded cheese. But the pièce de resistance that makes this casserole so irresistible is the cornbread batter topping. You can make your favorite cornbread from scratch, or if you’re pressed for time any store-bought cornbread mix will work fine. Just be sure to follow the directions on the package so you have at least 2 cups of prepared batter.
The batter covers the entire dish, locking in the medley of flavors. Before you know it, you’ll end up with a golden-brown cornbread crust that adds a sweet, rich texture to every satisfying bite.
• 1 pound ground elk
• 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
• 1 yellow onion, chopped
• 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 can (15.25 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
• 1 can (14.75 oz) cream-style corn
• 2 cups Colby jack cheese, shredded
• 2 tablespoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 cups cornbread batter (follow directions on package)
• Garnish: salsa, pickled jalapeños and cilantro.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add oil. When the oil is warm, add the onions, yellow bell pepper and garlic. Cook for roughly five minutes or until onions become translucent and soft. Add ground elk meat and brown. Season the mixture with cumin powder, chili powder and salt. Pour in both cans of corn and stir to ensure all ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat.
Using a 9”x13” casserole dish, pour about ¼ cup of the prepared batter on the bottom. Add the ground elk mixture and top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Pour the rest of the cornbread batter over the top, then bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the remainder of the cheese to the top of the cornbread crust and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
Garnish with salsa, pickled jalapeños (for those who like a little heat) and cilantro.