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.
- Splash (1-2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced into lardons
- 4 – 5 lb chuck roast, trimmed of gristle and fat, but left in very large pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3-4 stalks celery, diced
- 3 jalapeño peppers diced
- 2 bell peppers (whatever color), diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or 4 cloves pressed and allowed to sit for 10 minutes)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon Adobo sauce (from canned chiles in Adobo)
- 1 chili from can of chiles in Adobo
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup flour
- Optional: 1-2 cans red kidney beans, drained
- Optional: 1-2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
- 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).
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (approx) instant corn flour (masa harina or maseca)
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Mise En Place (Prep)
- Dice Bacon
- 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
- Base: Prepare onions, celery and peppers (ingredients 5-8) and combine in a medium bowl
- Aromatic: Mince garlic and reserve in a small bowl
- Umami Heat Bomb: Mash ingredients 10-16 together in a small bowl to create a paste
- Spice Bomb: Combine ingredients 17-20 together in a small bowl
- Measure out 1/4 cup flour and reserve in a small bowl
- Open and drain beans and tomatoes, if using
- Open cans/box of stock
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When onions are transluent and peppers are soft, add the garlic (your aromatic) and sauté until very fragrant, 1-2 minutes more
- Add Umami Heat Bomb (the paste you made earlier, ingredients 10-16) and stir to incorporate. Sauté for 30 seconds
- Add spice bomb (ingredients 17-20) and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add contents of sauté pan to dutch oven/slow cooker.
- Add beans and tomatoes if using.
- Add enough remaining stock to barely cover beef.
- Give everything a good stir to combine.
- 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.
- IF USING SLOW COOKER: Place lid on slow cooker and cook for 4 – 6 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on LOW
- Once braising time is up, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and stir well to combine, making sure they are fully melted
- Add instant corn flour a few sprinkles at a time and stir until desired consistency is achieved.
- Add red wine vinegar and stir.
- Serve with the usual suspects.