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.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 1 pound ground elk
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 25 oz can yellow corn, drained
- 14.75 oz can yellow creamed corn
- 2 cups Colby jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lb cornbread mix (ex: Marie Callender’s just add water)
- Garnishments: salsa, pickled jalapenos and cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat skillet over medium heat and add oil. When the oil is warm, add the onions, yellow bell pepper and garlic cooking for about 5 minutes or until onions become translucent and soft. Add ground elk meat and cook until browned. Season the meat mixture with cumin powder, chili powder and salt. Pour in the corn and stir to ensure all ingredients are combined. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, add cornbread mix and 1 ½ cups water. Mix until lumps disappear. Note: If you prefer to use another cornbread mix, you will need 2 cups of prepared cornbread batter for this recipe.
Using a 9×13 inch baking pan, pour about ¼ cup of the cornbread batter on the bottom of the baking pan. Add the ground elk mixture to the pan and top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Pour the remaining cornbread batter over the top and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the remainder of the cheese to the top of the cornbread and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
Garnish with salsa, pickled jalapenos and cilantro.