Thursday, September 30, 2010


Me, I love a quick can of Stagg's.
Patrick however, made me chili and cornbread as one of those "win the girl over" dinners when we were first dating.
It seems only fair that I should learn to return the favor (unless it ends up stepping on his "my turn in the kitchen" toes if I also learn to make kick ass chili - we'll see).

Beef Chili with Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
Seen on SmittenKitchen; Adapted from Gourmet
A couple notes: First, if you like a saucier chili, you might reduce the beef by one pound, though this might reduce your serving size. Second, I didn’t get the rise out of these biscuits that I’d expected to. Since they were delicious and other commenters have raved about them, I assumed it was me and didn’t bother tinkering with them. Finally, the original recipe says that it serves six but I think it stretches further, especially if you’re doing this shortcake-style, with just a ladleful on top. I’d suggest scaling the biscuit portion to the number of guests you’re having. If you make more than you need, I recommend freezing the extras unbaked until you’re ready to serve the chili again — you can bake them directly from the freezer, and they’ll always be fresh and crisp.
Serves 6
2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 carrots, sliced thin (suggested by Gourmet) or in a small dice, as I’d chop them next time
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, ground coarse or 3 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon crumbled dry oregano
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste (Gourmet suggests 1 tablespoon; I used 1 teaspoon knowing that my flakes are very hot)
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce or 2 cups fresh tomato sauce or tomato puree
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups or 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 green bell peppers, chopped
Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits, below
Sour cream and pickled jalapeños (optional, to finish)
In a large pot (I used a 5-quart, and just fit it all), heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions in it for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for one minute more. Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth and vinegar and simmer the chili, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes (if you used ground beef) or 50 to 60 minutes (if you used coarse chuck). Add the kidney beans, bell peppers, salt (I used 2 teaspoons to get the seasoning right for my tastes) and pepper to taste and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until the bell peppers are tender.
Serve ladled over a split Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuit, below, with additional sour cream and pickled jalapenos, if desired.
Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Drained and chopped pickled jalapeños, to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined. Stir in the cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Pat it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a very well-floured counter and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut six rounds. Bake on an ungreased (or parchment-lined, if your baking sheets are as “weathered” as mine are) for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.
Do ahead: If you’d like to serve them over a couple days, I recommend freezing already formed but unbaked biscuits until you are ready to bake them — you can bake them directly from the freezer, adding just a minute or two to the baking time.

Allrecipes has a winner too it seems (thanks mightypurdue22), that is insanely labor intensive, but another thing I could chuck into a crock pot.  Awesome.  Easily tweaked (and healthified I'm sure, which I will).  I think I shall call it "Everything But the Kitchen Sink Chili."

2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese  

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. 

Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day. 

To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

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