Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chili Con Carne


I was given my first French oven {a.k.a. a Dutch oven, or an enameled cast iron pot} about 10 years ago, by my mother-in-law. Since then, it has been used more times than I can count. I love it & consider it to be one of my most essential kitchen tools.
However, I do have one complaint with it...it's heavy! Lugging it out & washing it are tasks I do not look forward to.
For years now, a smaller version has been on my wish list...something more practically suited for a family of four & everyday cooking. In particular, I've had my eye on a 5 1/2 quart white Le Creuset. Unfortunately, they are super expensive. So, when I recently won a gift certificate to a cooking store, I finally took the plunge & bought myself one!
It's been sitting on my stove for a week now...bringing a smile to my face every time I look at it. It's ridiculous that a piece of cooking equipment could bring me so much joy...but, it does! I christened the pot with a lovely, Sunday roast chicken. Next up, I wanted to make some kind of stew, pot roast, or chili suitable for the cold, winter days we've been having. This chili is what I decided on.
Personally, I am more of a ground beef & bean chili kind of girl. My kids, however, won't touch anything containing beans with a ten foot pole. My DH likes any kind of chili...but, every time I've made it with beef chuck, versus ground beef, he's seemed particularly happy. So, here it is...a spicy {but, not too spicy}, beef chuck chili...with no beans {a.k.a. a Texas style chili}.

Begin with 4 pounds of cubed, boneless beef chuck. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large, heavy pot {ahem, see above} & add in a third of the beef. Sprinkle it with some kosher salt & cook until browned on all sides. Work in batches, until all the beef is browned. Transfer to a plate & set aside.
In the same pot, add another tablespoon of oil & stir in 2 chopped onions.

Saute for 8-10 minutes, or until softened.

Add in 1 whole head of garlic {peeled & minced} & cook for 3 minutes. Next, stir in some spices...you will need 1/4-1/2 cup of ground ancho chiles {adjust the quantity depending on how hot you want the chili}, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon & 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Pour in one {12 ounce} bottle of dark beer & stir for 1 minute, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Return the beef, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot. Then add in one {28 ounce} can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano & 2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Stir to combine & bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot & cook for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
Remove the pot from the heat & let it sit at room temperature for one hour. Transfer the pot to the refrigerator, cover & chill overnight.


The next day, skim the fat from the chili. Bring back to a boil, adding in some water if it has thickened too much. Stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste & 3 tablespoons of masa harina. Simmer, uncovered, for about a half hour, or until heated through & the beef is very tender.
Serve garnished with your favorite chili toppings...some of my favorites are shredded jack cheese, diced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro & a dollop of sour cream.

Chili Con Carne

Adapted from Bon App├ętit, February 2011
Serves 8
Ground ancho chiles can be found at Whole Foods in a bag, versus selling out the big bucks for spice jars...or, look for it in Latin American grocery stores, along with the masa harina.

vegetable oil
4 pounds cubed boneless beef chuck
2 onions, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled & chopped
1/4-1/2 cup dried ancho chiles {adjust to your heat preference}
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 {12 ounce} bottle of dark beer
1 {28 ounce} can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons masa harina
optional garnishes: diced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded jack cheese & sour cream

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add a third of the beef {depending on the size of your pot}, sprinkle it with some kosher salt & cook until browned on all sides. Work in batches, until all the beef is browned. Transfer to a plate & set aside.
In the same pot, add another tablespoon of oil & stir in the onions. Saute for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic & cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the ground ancho chiles, cumin, allspice, cinnamon & cloves. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the beer & stir for 1 minute, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Return the beef, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot. Add the diced tomatoes, oregano & salt. Stir to combine & bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot & cook for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
Remove the pot from the heat & let it sit at room temperature for one hour. Transfer the pot to the refrigerator, cover & chill overnight.
The next day, skim the fat from the chili. Bring back to a boil, adding in some water if it has thickened too much. Stir in the tomato paste & masa harina. Simmer, uncovered, for about a half hour, or until heated through & the beef is very tender.
Serve garnished with your favorite chili toppings.
Click here for the printable recipe.

14 comments:

Blog is the New Black said...

Looks wonderful- I haven't made a chili yet this year!

Salt in Suburbia said...

This look SO good! Bookmarking it and hoping to have time to try it very soon!

Lisa said...

Hi! This looks yummy indeed. This weekend we have a party with my relatives. I was actually going for chili con carne from Nigella's Feast, but this one looks stunning and I really like the addition of beer. Think we might try this one, thank you!

Jenna said...

If you like the flavor of beans in your ground beef & bean chili, you can do what my mom always did when we were kids: She blended the beans up and put them in blender than poured them back in. To this day, that's how I prefer my chili. :)

Alejandra Ramos said...

This looks amazing! I usually make chili with ground beef (or other ground meats), but I have lots of stew beef junks in my freezer that I could use for this. I like the larger chunks of meat. Can't wait to try it! (Your photos are gorgeous, btw.)

Joanne said...

I've never done chili without beans before, but I can definitely see the appeal in all this meat. i'm kind of drooling just looking at it!

jane said...

It sounds great and the photo is wonderful - is it a photo that you took? I think i would like to serve this in individual dishes, with an egg baked on the top - what do you think?

kate said...

Jane-Yes, they're my photos...thanks :)
I've never had an egg on top of chili, but I can't see why not. It would probably be delicious!

Jackie at Phamfatale.com said...

Looks very impressive. And the meat looks so tender. Yum!

suzybananas said...

KV - This looks sooooooo good. When am I going to see your new creuset?
xoxo

Jill Colonna said...

You know, I haven't made chilli in years. Something used to make in the uK but in France it's not something they do.... until now! Thanks for the inspiration.

Elizabeth said...

Oh man, this looks really amazing. I'm a sucker for any slow-cooked meat.

Janet A. said...

Greetings from Cornwall Bridge, CT!

We recently bought our first LeCreuset -- oval, 6.75 qt. in almost-white "Dune." I was looking for something to cook for our initial endeavor, and am delighted to have found this recipe and your blog. (We even have a couple of home-grown ancho chilis to dry and use in it.)

If you still receive notification of comments for past recipes and see this, I have a couple of questions:

1. I don't know how easily we can find canned, fire-roasted tomatoes; will plain ol' Redpack diced tomatoes in juice do?

2. We usually add black beans (pre-soaked, dried ones - not canned) and some mole sauce (from a jar) to our chili, and I'd be interested to know if you think these additions would work with your recipe -- although the chili in your photos looks so good that I may try to talk my husband into preparing it as is.

Thanks!

kate said...

Hi Janet -

Congrats on the new Le Creuset ;) They're wonderful aren't they?
So glad you discovered my blog and a recipe you can use!

This chili isn't your typical beef n' bean chili. I have a recipe here for Simple Beef & Kidney Bean Chili too.

The regular diced tomatoes will be fine.

As far as the beans...this chili is very much like a beef stew in texture. I can't say if the beans would work, as I haven't tried it. I couldn't really picture adding beans to a beef stew, so I'm not sure if it will work well. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

Thanks for visiting!

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