February 17, 2015

In the Kitchen: Texas Chili

There are few things more comforting than cozying up with a big bowl of chili on a snowy day. I joke that my husband was a chili master back in the day (he won a chili cook-off in college). He normally takes on all chili responsibilities so it was unusual for me to get in the kitchen and whip up my own batch. The New York Times posted a recipe for Texas chili last week and it really sparked my entrance. So, this past weekend I gave my chili skills a try. This chili is a great break for the normal ground beef and beans route. The chocolate and toasted spices add a nice roundness, and the beef roast has a great texture. Feel free to add more chili powder if you like it spicy. I'm a wimp and prefer it more mild. 

Texas Chili 
Adapted from NY Times

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds 
2 pounds beef roast 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 yellow onion, diced 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
2 jalapeƱos, minced 
1 corn tortilla 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
6 ounces beer 
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes 
3 cups water
1 ounce chocolate 
1 dried guajilo pepper

Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add cumin and coriander seeds and toast for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Remove from pot and grind in a food processor or mortar and pestle until a powder forms. Set aside. 

Season beef with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to dutch oven, and begin browning beef in batches (it took me 4 batches). Turn beef to brown all sides of making sure a nice crust forms. Remove beef from pan and allow to rest on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. 

Add onions to pot and cook for 5 minute until slightly brown. Add garlic and jalapeƱo and cook for another five minutes until soft. Stir in beer and cook for 3 minutes until beer has reduced by half. Add meat, tomatoes, water, spices, and chocolate. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until chili has thickened and meat falls apart. If chili looks dry, add more water. Remove dried chili before serving. Top with your favorite chili toppings: sour cream, red onion, or avocado. 

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