Today is National Chili Day!
Lance Bellows, is our resident foodie. During our once a month all day sales meetings he usually teams up with our office manager, Susan Drown to make lunch for the whole office. In the past, he has brought in delicious barbecue sauces, pulled pork, soups, and stews. Like a true foodie, he likes to try out new recipes. When he finds a good one he will usually bring it in to share with the office staff and share the recipes. One of our favorites in the past has been his chili! On cold and wet days, like the ones we’ve been having, this hearty and a little bit spicy dish helps warm us up. So in celebration of National Chili day, we would like to share an office favorite! Here is one of Lance’s favorite chili recipes. We suggest pairing your chili with some cornbread to make a delicious, filling winter meal.
Texas Beef Chili
- 1/4 cup ground ancho chili pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 (4 pounds) beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes (see note below)
- 8 ounces (about 8 slices) bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (see tip below)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 jalapeño chiles, cored, seeded and finely diced (see note)
- 4 cups ( 32 oz) low sodium beef broth
- 2 cups water, plus more for the chili paste and deglaze the pan
- 1-1/4 cups lager beer
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Lime wedges
- Mix the chili powders, cumin, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, and cornmeal in a small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup water to form a thick paste; set aside.
- Season the beef with the salt; set aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick, until the fat renders and the bacon crisps, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour all but a few teaspoons of fat from the pot into a small bowl; set aside.
- Increase the heat to medium-high. Sear the meat in three batches (it should be in a single layer), until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes per batch, adding more of the reserved bacon fat as necessary. (Hint: Once the meat is in the pan, don’t stir or touch it — leaving it alone will allow it to develop a nice brown crust on one side.) Place the seared meat on a plate. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the pot (it will smoke), and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to release all of the flavorful brown bits. Pour the dark liquid over the seared meat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat to the pot. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook 2 minutes more. Add the reserved chile paste and sauté until fragrant, a few minutes (it will look clumpy and stick to the bottom a bit — that’s okay).
- Add the beef broth and stir with a whisk until the spice mixture is completely dissolved. Scrape the bottom of the pot with the whisk to release any spices. Stir in the water, beer, crushed tomatoes, molasses, and cocoa powder. Add the reserved bacon and seared beef (along with the juices from the beef on the bottom of the plate) back to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and cover, leaving the lid just barely ajar. Simmer, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn, until the meat is meltingly tender and the juices are thickened, 2-1/2 – 3 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Note: When selecting the meat, be sure not to buy anything generically labeled “Stew Meat.” Also, you will lose about 1/2 pound after trimming the fat, so if you buy the meat already trimmed and cubed, you’ll only need about 3-1/2 pounds.
- Tip: To make bacon easier to chop, try placing it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes first. The colder it is, the easier it is to cut.
- Note: If you touch the seeds of the jalapeño pepper, just be sure to wash your hands well and avoid touching your eyes.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The chili can be frozen for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost it in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.