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Beef Stew Chili

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Recipe (slightly) adapted from Whitney Miller's MODERN hospitality (originally titled Game-Day Chili).

Before even looking at the list of ingredients, you may have noticed that I've changed the name of the dish from its original name.  This was the first time I've made this dish, and after taking my first bite, I was confused.  Not disappointed (at all), just confused.  Maybe it's a regional thing, but when I see a recipe called Game-Day Chili, I expect a hearty tomato-based dish.  There's usually tomato paste used early on, and then a good deal of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes used in addition.  In this dish, the base flavor is all in the beef stock, so you get a rich, hearty flavor rather than the acidity from the tomatoes.  Because of this, I was reminded more of a beef stew with characteristics of chili rather than chili with beef.

Whatever you choose to call it, this dish is a keeper.  You get hit with the beef right away, then get a hint of the spices, and finish up with a warm (but not overpowering) heat from the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.  Now that I know what to expect, I may try adding some tomato sauce and a bit more chipotle/adobo the next time I make the dish just to see the effect it has.

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium beef stock

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, thinly sliced
1 cup water (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat.  Toss the stew meat into the flour, shake off any excess, and carefully place in the hot oil.  Once browned on one side, use a pair of tongs to brown the remaining sides (about 3 minutes per side).  Add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the stock is simmering, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet.  Add the bell pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the chili powder, cumin, and garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add the ground beef and cook (while breaking apart) until cooked through.  Once fully browned, tilt the pan and spoon off any excess oil.

Once the stock has simmered for 30 minutes, add everything from the skillet to the stock mixture.  Add the beans, tomatoes, and chipotle and stir to combine.  Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the chili is too thick for your liking, stir in water until a desired consistency is met.  Serve with green onions, cheddar cheese, and/or sour cream.

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