The Shameless Chef: Ranch Hand Pie

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Ever since my overwhelmingly popular and unanimously beloved invention of the DIY Shepherd's Pie, which was my debut as the Shameless Chef, I've been trying to think of something along similar lines that would horrify the people who take all this foodie shit way too seriously, yet would also make my fan base drool in anticipation. But I couldn't, so here's this instead.

I'm kidding, of course. I think I actually like this one better than the Shepherd's Pie, although it's kind of a toss-up. I invented the name "Ranch Hand Pie" because this seems to me like something they'd cook you out on the trail after a hard day of ropin' cattle, punchin' steers, downloadin' the new Sugarland album, and lookin' up how to treat a snakebite on your smartphone or whatever the hell it is cowboys do these days. Please note that the name is meant to be pronounced "ranch-hand pie", and not "ranch hand-pie." I don't know what a "hand-pie" might be, but all possible manifestations I can think of are decidedly unsavory.

You will need: • 1 package of beef fajita meat • 1 can of baked beans • 1 package of cornbread mix • the barbecue sauce of your choice • 1 egg, 2/3 cup milk

First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Then you're going to want to mix together your cornbread batter. If you know someone who makes great homemade cornbread, bribe them to do this part, but even if you have to make it straight out of the packet, it's still pretty good. Instructions will be on the back of the packet, but usually you just have to mix in one egg and 2/3 cup of milk and whisk the bejeezus out of it.

Once that's done, get your baking pan and mix together the beans and fajita meat in it. Stir in as much barbecue sauce as you'd like, "to taste" as they call it in professional fancy-ass cookbooks, which just means "whatever amount you're happy with." You should have a mixing bowl full of batter and a baking pan full of beans and meat by now.

All you need to do now is pour the cornbread mix over the beans 'n' meat, being sure to keep the coverage relatively even. Then you put it in the oven for 30 minutes, and that's it. It'll be ready. Seriously. That was simple even for one of my recipes. If you cut into it and the cornbread isn't entirely cooked yet, put it in for 5-10 more minutes and consider getting a new oven.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.