1 box corn muffin mix
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
2 tablespoons chili powder, divided
2 cups aged cheddar cheese, grated and divided
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3/4 pound andouille sausage, peeled
1 1/2 pounds of beef, veal or pork meatloaf mix
1 bay leaf
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bottle beer, lager style
1 cup chicken stock
1/3-1/2 cup hot sauce
1 can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 can red beans (15 ounces) (optional)
4 scallions, sliced
Pre-heat the oven according to the instructions on the corn muffin mix box. Butter an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish and make the cornbread, according to the package directions. Add the defrosted corn, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 cup of cheddar cheese and the honey and bake, according to the package directions.
To prepare the andouille sausage, slice it lengthwise. Then, lay each half flat on the counter and slice it lengthwise again and chop it into 1/2-inch pieces. While the cornbread is baking, pre-heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about two tablespoons. Add the chopped andouille sausage and cook, stirring every now and then, for 2-3 minutes.
Add the ground meat mixture to the pot, using the back of a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it browns.
Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the remaining tablespoon of chili powder, the bay leaf, celery, onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, salt and pepper, stirring frequently, for another five minutes.
Add the beer, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, then the chicken stock and hot sauce, and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and beans and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving. To serve, cut the cornbread into squares. Ladle a serving of chili into a bowl and place the corn bread squares on top. Sprinkle generously with the remaining cheddar cheese and the scallions.