This is a little like a shepherd’s pie, but instead of mashed potato, it has cornbread on top and it's absolutely delicious. It's great for camping or at home. 




Skill level

Average: 3.2 (109 votes)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 smoked bratwursts or chorizo, cut into rounds
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 400 g canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed (you could substitute cannellini beans)
  • 400 g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp HP sauce (or use maple syrup to taste)
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • ⅓ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Handful of grated cheddar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. If cooking in an oven, heat oven to 180°C.

2. In a medium camp oven (or a large oven-safe casserole dish) heat the oil and fry the onion and sausages for 4-5 minutes to caramelise and allow the fat to render from the sausage. Add the smoked paprika followed by the beans, tomato, HP sauce and ½ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until thick and rich.

3, Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix ½ cup of the polenta with the boiling water and stir to make a stiff puree. Slowly mix in the buttermilk and egg. In another bowl mix the remaining polenta, baking powder, bicarb soda, sugar and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; it should be a loose batter.

4. Once the beans and sausage stew is cooked, remove from the heat. Pour over the corn mixture. With the back of a spoon, spread carefully to completely cover the beans. Sprinkle over cheese. Place the lid on and bake in the hot coals (or preheated oven) for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cornbread crust comes out clean.