Blogging brunch is this weekend! I’m very excited and making my mom’s Sherried Egg Bake.
You should know, by the way, that my mom is a very talented cook. I’m not just saying this. Come over for thanksgiving dinner (call her first) and you will see.
You should also know that I tend to be a big picture person. So although I distinctly remember my mom being a great cook growing up, I have zero idea of how she actually cooked anything. Great meals magically appeared on the counter. You can see how I’m in a bit of a predicament as a grown-up.
Anyways, this is all to say that I positively remember having chili growing up but have no recollection of how it was created. In fact, somewhere post-college I got the idea that chili was only made using ground beef and those little flavor packets.
I mean, it’s good enough. But then I started hearing about these chili cook-offs and realized that there must be more to it than just those packages. Plus, as you’ve likely learned by now, if there’s an easy way or a difficult way to do something I will choose the tougher route 99% of the time. So I tried something new using cubes of chuck and different blend of spices. Now that I’ve built a substantial spice rack (fine, drawer) and have learned to keep staple pantry items on hand, this wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined.
And oh how the effort was worth it! Next time I will let it simmer a little more to reduce further. I also learned that people sometimes put chocolate in chili. Chocolate?!?! Done.
Chili con Carne
2 Tbsp red chili powder
1 teaspoon Tabasco chipotle sauce or 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (which I could not find…)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
3-4 Tbsp water
One 2 1/2 pound chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeño chili peppers, minced
1 14-oz can whole tomatoes
2 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 14-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp of water
1.Mix the chili powder, Tabasco chipotle/chipotle powder, ground cumin, oregano, thyme, and ground coriander seeds in a small bowl. Mix in water so that chili forms a light paste.
2. Heat a pan over medium high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Brown the beef cubes on all sides and lightly salt as the beef cooks. You may need to work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan (that is, having the beef cubes on top of each other or squished together) will reduce the heat of the pan, leading the beef to steam and making it difficult for the beef to sear. Remove the beef cubes.
3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and sautee the onions until soft and translucent – around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Then add the chili paste mixture and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
4. Put onion chili mixture, beef, bacon, tomatoes (breaking up the tomatoes with your hands as you place in the pot), water, lime juice and sugar into a thick-bottomed dutch oven, uncovered, over medium high heat. Wait for the chili to come to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Then uncover and cook for another 30 minutes, raising the heat if necessary to keep the temperature high enough to maintain a gentle simmer.
5. Add the cornstarch dissolved in water to the chili to thicken it. Dissolving the cornstarch first keeps it from getting lumpy in your chili. Mix in the kidney beans. Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings – add sugar if too acidic, add chili powder for more heat.
6. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips or your other favorite chili toppings.
Adapted from Simply Recipes.