During our recent trip home, my in-laws’ next-door neighbor, Doug, gave us just about every single pepper that he had left in his garden. In hindsight, that was probably a good move because it snowed there a few days after we left (just…yikes). So, we were the happy recipients of a slew of unidentified peppers. All we knew was that some were mild, some were hot, and some were good-luck-growing-your-taste-buds-back hot.
After a very dicey tasting session, chili was in order.
I did a bunch of research for this recipe. Chili recipes tend to be recipes I don’t notice because I have a go-to chili that I make all the time. But, I wanted to develop something different…something with big hunks of meat instead of ground beef, and something with a bigger variety of spices. This chili guide from theKitchn is a really terrific resource. It takes you through the steps of how to develop good chili flavor, and you can sort of plug and play with the specific ingredients you’d like to feature.
I used a 3-lb chuck roast that I cut into bite-sized pieces, which is why the cooking time is so long. You really do need to cook it for a number of hours so that your meat is fall-apart tender when you serve it. You can also just buy the stew meat at the store if you’d like. Because it cooks for so long, those pieces will be just fine, and it saves you the step of chopping the roast yourself. If you’re using a ground meat, you won’t need to cook this as long.
Let’s talk spice levels.
This chili isn’t spicy. I had a specific “no spicy” request from one of our friends who was coming over to eat with us, so I kept this baby mild. I left the blow-your-eyebrows-off peppers to be pickled and used the milder ones in this dish. If you want something a little spicier, you could leave the seeds and the ribs in your jalapenos and maybe step up the chipotle chili powder to a full teaspoon or even more.
I think Doug would be proud of our effort.
- 1 T. butter
- 1 T. olive oil
- 3 lb. chuck roast, cut into cubes
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 sweet red pepper, diced
- 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ T. chili powder
- 1 ½ T. cumin
- 1 T. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 (12-oz) bottle Corona beer
- 1 (14.5-oz) can beef stock
- 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (16-oz) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 2 T. cold water
- Heat butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Pat chuck roast cubes dry with paper towels and then season them with salt and pepper.
- Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, brown meat cubes on all sides. I browned them in three batches, and it took about 20 minutes total. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
- Add onions, green peppers, red peppers, and jalapenos and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer.
- Add the seasonings and salt, stir and let cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour beer in to deglaze the pan. Stir until you’ve pulled up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes to reduce the beer slightly.
- Add the beef stock, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and both kinds of beans to the pot.
- Add the browned meat (and any juices that accumulated) and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.
- Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until cornstarch is totally dissolved and there are no lumps. Stir into the chili. Continue to cook for another hour or until the meat is very tender.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve with whatever garnishes you like: chopped scallions, shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped avocado, and/or lime wedges.
Created using theKitchn’s chili cooking lesson.