A hearty Texas chili featuring an aromatic spice blend, sweet and spicy peppers and heart ground beef.
There are some dishes I usually steer clear from in the kitchen. Not necessarily because I don’t like them or want to make them all together, but solely for the sake of my marriage. My husband loves to cook just as much as I do. He is a barbecue aficionado, a grill master and a lover of all things slow-cooked and braised. The man really, truly gives me a run for my money in the food department.
In the early stages of our marriage, our mothers quickly caught on to our competitive nature, especially when it came to food. We would work side-by-side in the itsy-bitsy kitchen of our first home, crammed together, each claiming as much counter space as physically possible. All the while, giving one another “loving” little tidbits of unsolicited advice in regards to technique, ingredients, and tips to help the other improve upon the neighboring dish in progress. Both mothers could see this was a dangerous practice and would often pass each other wide-eyed glances as things would start to heat up in the kitchen. “Careful, now,” they would peacefully interject. No one knows us better than those two wonderful women, and they both knew good and well that neither of us took well to criticism, constructive or not…especially when it came to kitchen matters.
It didn’t take long for my husband and me to figure out that for the loving sake of our marriage, it was just best to let one another have our special dishes. I’ve got my favorites and he’s got his. Now, when we are making a dish that falls within the “favorites” category, we know to very silently, hand over the reigns and step away from the kitchen. For a while now, I have secretly wanted to take a stab at chili. Unfortunately, it was a dish my guy had made competitively in college and it had fallen under the “His Favorites” category long, long ago. Sweet as pie, I recently brought to his attention I’d really like to give my own chili a go. To my astonishment, he gave me his blessing, along with some well-received pointers (this time around)…followed by a sarcastic taunt, daring me to make one as good as his. There’s the guy I know and love. Challenge accepted. It’s chili time.
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground chili beef
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons chili powder separated
- 3 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt separated
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin separated
- 3 teaspoons Ancho chili powder separated
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of Canola oil
- Yellow Onion diced
- Red Bell Pepper stemmed, seeded and diced
- 2 jalapenos stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup of a full-bodied ale
- 2 cups unsalted beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- Optional Toppings:
- Corn chips
- Freshly grated cheddar
- Slices of pickles jalapeños
- Finely diced white onion or chopped green onions
- Sour cream
Place an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, or large pot, over medium-high heat, add the ground beef along with the 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons of Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of Ancho chili powder and black pepper. Break apart the meat and sauté for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the cooked beef to a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
The beef will be very concentrated in flavor. Add canola oil to the Dutch oven, along with the onion, red bell pepper and jalapeños. Stir and sauté 5-8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add the beef back into the Dutch oven, along with the crushed tomatoes, beer, beef broth and tomato paste.
Stir and season the mixture with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of Ancho chili powder, ground mustard and bay leaf. Stir once more and allow to come to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk together corn starch and cold water. Add mixture to the Dutch oven and stir. Raise heat to medium and allow to rapidly simmer, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Discard of the bay leaf. Remove from the heat, serve alongside optional toppings and enjoy.
Makes 8 Servings.
Would pair well with:
Ice Cold Beer