26 January 2014

Recipe - Chili Stew

I entered this recipe into my church's Chili Cook-Off tonight! It was the first time I have used chunks of beef instead of ground beef, which I wanted to try after the success of last week's Braised Beef with Rigatoni recipe, and this recipe starts out by searing the beef the same way. Since it uses "stew beef" I am calling this recipe Chili Stew. It is flavorful and colorful, and it has a Mexican flavor with cumin and black beans.

Inspired by this recipe on The Kitchn.

Amy's Chili Stew in the slow cooker, before simmering
Amy's Chili Stew

1 tsp canola or vegetable oil
1.5-2 lb stew beef (trimmed cubes from less expensive cuts, suitable for long/slow cooking)
1 Tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne (red pepper)
1 cup hard apple cider (or amber ale)
1 can (14 oz) beef broth or stock
2 cans (14 oz each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 cans (16 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 cans (4 oz each) diced mild green chiles
Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, cornbread, chopped green onions, hot sauce, diced avocado, etc...

Warm 1 tsp oil in a large heavy Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat (or you can use a skillet if you will be simmering the chili in a slow cooker). Sear beef cubes, in batches so that the pan is not crowded. Turn each cube at least once, and set aside in a bowl or deep plate when done. You will know that the beef has a nice brown crust and is ready to be turned when it releases easily from the pan. Don't worry about those brown bits sticking to the bottom - they'll be yummy soon!

In the same pot, add 1 Tbs oil and raise the temperature to medium-high. Add the onions and salt, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and continue to cook until softened, about 5 more minutes. Push the vegetables to the side and cook the garlic in the middle of the pan until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir into the vegetables. It is normal for a dark sticky crust to form on the bottom of the pan.

Add all of the seasonings to the vegetables and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the cider/beer into the pan, scraping up all the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring and scraping until the liquid has almost evaporated.
**If using a slow cooker, transfer the veggies there now.

Add the beef (and juices that may have seeped out) back into the pot, as well as the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook on low for several hours, until the beef is tender (slow cooker: Low for 6-8 hours). Use the back of the spoon to gently break up the meat toward the end of the cooking time.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, cornbread, chopped green onions, hot sauce, diced avocado, etc...

Chili is often best the day after it has been cooked. It will also keep for up to a week and freezes well for up to three months. I like to freeze leftovers in individual portions for quick meals later!

1 comment:

  1. This is quite similar to the chili recipe I'm perfecting. I use brisket, and it just falls apart in the Crock Pot. Also I've been using fresh poblano and anaheim peppers, and last time I boiled, peeled, and mashed tomatoes rather than opening a can. I enjoy the product very well. :)


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