Easy taco cobbler

A fun twist on a Tex-Mex favourite!

While you might be more familiar with fruit-based cobblers, I’m here to tell you that savory ones are truly fantastic. In fact, I can honestly say my family might never let me prepare a taco-style meal any other way, now that they’ve tasted this dish. The cheesy cornmeal biscuit topping is such a perfect complement to the seasoned meat, and offering up a nice array of toppings makes it easier for everyone to customize their plate to their liking. You can easily cook the meat ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it; the dry ingredients, grated butter and cheese for the biscuits can similarly be combined in advance and refrigerated or frozen so it takes mere moments to pull the biscuits together. Note that it’s easy to make a vegetarian or vegan version of this cobbler using crumbled plant-based protein and non-dairy milk and shredded cheese and you can also use a favourite gluten-free drop biscuit recipe for the topping if you prefer. If you enjoy this dish, you might also like my pizza cobbler recipe.

Ingredients

Taco meat:

  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup (26 g) each chopped onions and peppers
  • 4 tablespoons (28 g) taco seasoning (1 packet)
  • 3/4 cup (177 mL) water
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) grated cheddar cheese

Biscuit topping:

  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (53 g) cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons (9.6 g) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) very cold butter
  • 3/4 cup (177 mL) milk
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) grated cheddar cheese

Garnishes:

  • Your choice of diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro leaves and/or lime wedges

Method

  • Place the olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. When it is warm, add the meat (or vegetable protein) and cook, stirring often, until thoroughly browned. Add chopped onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 – 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Sprinkle taco seasoning over top and add water; stir to blend thoroughly and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. If your skillet is not oven-safe, transfer prepared meat to an oven-safe casserole dish approximately 7 x 9 inches (17.5 x 22.5 cm) and place in refrigerator to cool (because you don’t want to put the biscuit dough on top of hot meat).
  • When the meat has cooled, stir in the cheese.
  • While meat cools, prepare biscuit topping. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using a box or flat grater, shred the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Toss with your fingers or two forks to distribute evenly then add the grated cheese and toss again. Add the milk and stir to incorporate just until no dry spots remain.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop twelve evenly sized portions of dough on top of the cooled meat and cheese mixture in the casserole dish, leaving spaces approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) between the dollops of dough.
  • Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and bake for 15 – 17 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown and taco meat is bubbling.
  • Serve hot with garnishes on the side.

Serves 4 – 6.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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