Beef Chili II

This hearty beef chili follows the same method as most other soups and stews and can be done in the oven in 4 hours or in a slow cooker over 4-8 hours.

It is an updated version with a little less heat (the previous version had a whole can of chilis in Adobo!) and a bit more depth of flavor.

Serve with the usual suspects: diced green onions, sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips, corn chips and corn bread.

Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you off – this is easy and the pay-off is huge.

Ingredients

  1. Splash (1-2 tablespoons) olive oil
  2. 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced into lardons
  3. 4 – 5 lb chuck roast, trimmed of gristle and fat, but left in very large pieces
  4. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  6. 3-4 stalks celery, diced
  7. 3 jalapeño peppers diced
  8. 2 bell peppers (whatever color), diced
  9. 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or 4 cloves pressed and allowed to sit for 10 minutes)
  10. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  11. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  12. 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  13. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  14. 1 tablespoon miso paste
  15. 1 tablespoon Adobo sauce (from canned chiles in Adobo)
  16. 1 chili from can of chiles in Adobo
  17. 1 tablespoon cumin
  18. 1 tablespoon oregano
  19. 1 teaspoon allspice
  20. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  21. 1/4 cup flour
  22. Optional: 1-2 cans red kidney beans, drained
  23. Optional: 1-2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
  24. 4 cups low sodium chicken stock or high quality beef stock (low quality beef stock sucks, but basically and low sodium chicken stock is okay).
  25. 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  26. 1/4 cup (approx) instant corn flour (masa harina or maseca)
  27. 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Mise En Place (Prep)

  1. Dice Bacon
  2. Trim beef of any gristle or excess fat. You should be left with 3-4 large pieces. Season beef all around aggressively with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  3. Base: Prepare onions, celery and peppers (ingredients 5-8) and combine in a medium bowl
  4. Aromatic: Mince garlic and reserve in a small bowl
  5. Umami Heat Bomb: Mash ingredients 10-16 together in a small bowl to create a paste
  6. Spice Bomb: Combine ingredients 17-20 together in a small bowl
  7. Measure out 1/4 cup flour and reserve in a small bowl
  8. Open and drain beans and tomatoes, if using
  9. Open cans/box of stock
  10. Measure out chocolate chips, corn flour and red wine vinegar – you won’t be using these til the very end, but hey, one less thing to do later on. Reserve.

Method

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and bacon and stir well. Fry bacon until crispy and fat has rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on paper towels to drain.
  2. Add beef to pan (you may need to work in batches) and increase heat to medium high. Brown beef aggressively (brown means brown) on all sides – 3 to 5 minutes – per side. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest.
  3. In the same sauté pan (you should now have a lovely fond built up in the bottom of your pan. Reduce heat to medium low and add onions, celery and peppers (your base: ingredients 5-8) and sweat, stirring occasionally to scrape up fond from the bottom of the pan.
  4. When onions are transluent and peppers are soft, add the garlic (your aromatic) and sauté until very fragrant, 1-2 minutes more
  5. Add Umami Heat Bomb (the paste you made earlier, ingredients 10-16) and stir to incorporate. Sauté for 30 seconds
  6. Add spice bomb (ingredients 17-20) and sauté for another 30 seconds.
  7. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir to combine. Cook flour for about 1 minute, then add 1 cup (1/4 box) of stock. You could use red wine or beer here too if you wanted to. Allow to come to a boil and scrape up anything else that might still be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow mixture to reduce by 1/3.
  8. While liquid is reducing, add reserved bacon to the bottom of a dutch oven or slow-cooker. Cube beef into large, 2 inch chunks (it will still be raw in the middle, that’s okay) and add to dutch oven/slow cooker along with bacon.
  9. Add contents of sauté pan to dutch oven/slow cooker.
  10. Add beans and tomatoes if using.
  11. Add enough remaining stock to barely cover beef.
  12. Give everything a good stir to combine.
  13. IF USING DUTCH OVEN: Cover, bring to a boil, then transfer to an oven preheated to 325°F and cook with the lid slightly askew for about 4 hours.
  14. IF USING SLOW COOKER: Place lid on slow cooker and cook for 4 – 6 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on LOW
  15. Once braising time is up, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and stir well to combine, making sure they are fully melted
  16. Add instant corn flour a few sprinkles at a time and stir until desired consistency is achieved.
  17. Add red wine vinegar and stir.
  18. Serve with the usual suspects.

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