Vegan Daughter Paleo Son

Beefy Texas Chili

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Beefy Texas Chili

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‘Can’t tell you how many times I have wished that aromas could be posted on blogs.

This chili is so loaded with synergistic aromatics that it is intoxicating. With three dried chilis, onion, garlic, cumin, and oregano, slow cooked over very low heat… if you are an eater of meat, this will make you very happy.

We will be posting a vegan chili soon, and it will also be wonderful, standing on its own. But for today we are going all Caveman Paleo… and yep, I am going there… No Beans! This one is all about beef.

The best choice for beef in Texas chili is probably a chuck roast. It has more fat and connective tissue, giving it lots of flavor. I happen to have a sirloin tip roast today. It is more lean, but we are hankerin’ for some Spicy Beefy Texas Chili and this will do the trick.

There are probably as many versions of Texas chili as there are Texans, each as unique and complex as the next. And all should be tasted. 🙂

This recipe is packed with flavor all on its own; you need not change a thing! But you can also view this as a blank, but delicious, palate. Add beer, chocolate, herbs and spices, whatever you like! It really is easy. Ditch the chile powders… you don’t need them.

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This is all you need…

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However, if you don’t want boring Texas chili, add some aromatics and seasonings… Still not hard.

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First. let’s talk about chilis. You can find dried chilis in all varieties at your local market or a market which specializes in Mexican foods. Each has its own flavor and heat level. Later, this blog will explore this a bit more. But for this recipe, we will use three of my favorites. These are also pretty easy to find and purchase.

If you get your peppers at a Mexican foods market, pick up some Mexican oregano while you are there!

Left to right: Arbol, New Mexico, Ancho

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Ancho peppers are dried poblanos, and my personal favorite. Bobby Flay always says that an ancho has the taste of “spicy raisins.” I think that the flavor of an ancho is what we most often associate with the flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine. Well, anchos and jalapenos, maybe. Anchos are fruity and intense, but not terribly hot. You can substitute with Mulatos, which are also poblanos.

New Mexico chilis are sweet and earthy, and when added to Ancho to make a paste, bring the dish a new flavor profile. You can substitute with another sweet chili, such as a California Chili.

Now we need some heat. Arbols do not bring fruity, sweet, or smokey flavors, but they pack heat, adding just the right third pepper flavor layer to the dish. Using just one or two in this dish will not make the chili overpoweringly hot. You can substitute with another hot chili, if desired.

If you want smokiness, throw in some chipotle in adobo.

Making Paste

Cut the stems off each dried chili, and remove the seeds. This is easier to do if you use scissors, cut open, and flatten each chili. Do not rub your eyes before thoroughly washing your hands! If you are very sensitive, wear gloves.

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Little trash bowl for stems and seeds.

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Cutting chilis into smaller pieces will make easier work of pureeing them later.

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Place dried chili pieces into a sauce pot with water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until chili is very soft and tender.

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When tender, remove chilis from water with a slotted spoon. Sometimes there is a bit of dirt and grit which settle to the bottom of the pot. Be careful to not swoosh the water around too much. Some chefs will use the chili broth; I find it a bit bitter and usually discard it.

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Place reconstituted chilis into a food processor or blender. I am using a mini because of the small amount. If the amount is too small, the blades may not thoroughly puree the chilis. If needed, you can make extra chili paste and freeze what is leftover for another dish.

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Set your chili paste aside. Take a moment to admire the beauty of it. 🙂

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Where’s the beef?

Cut your roast into uniform chunks, about 1 inch. This will make a big hearty beefy chile worthy of having “Texas” in the title.

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Season with salt and pepper. (This did get more pepper than is shown.)

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In a heated dutch oven or large pot, add oil and quickly brown meat in batches. Do not brown all sides. The goal is to develop the natural sugars and flavors just a bit without overcooking.

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Set beef pieces aside.

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In the same pot, with all that lovely brown fond, add a bit more oil and cook onions for just a couple of minutes, until they are translucent.

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Add garlic, cumin, and oregano to the pot.

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Cook for a couple more minutes, until fragrant.

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Add a little chicken broth to deglaze the pot, scraping up all those delicious brown bits. Flavor lives in there!

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Return beef to the pot.

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Add the remainder of your chicken broth, and your chili paste. If you want a saucier chili, add more.

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Simmer… mmm…

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After about two hours, chili is cooked! But if you can resist the urge, don’t eat it!  If you cool and refrigerate your chili, it will be EVEN BETTER the next day!

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The next day…

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Texas Chili

This recipe yields 2-4 servings, depending on whether this is all you are eating and how hungry your diners are. If you are serving this with other dishes, or in wraps, it will go much further. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe as needed.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb roast, preferably chuck, excess fat removed
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t oregano, Mexican oregano if you have it
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted or finely diced
  • 2-3 c chicken broth
  • Chili paste, using recipe below

For the paste

  • 2 ancho peppers
  • 1 new mexico peppers
  • 1/2 – 1 arbol pepper, more if you like your chili hot

Method

Cut your roast into uniform chunks, about 1 inch. Season with salt and pepper.

In a heated dutch oven or large pot, add oil and quickly brown meat in batches. Do not brown all sides. The goal is to develop the natural sugars and flavors just a bit without overcooking. Set beef pieces aside.

In the same pot, with all that lovely brown fond, add a bit more oil and cook onions for just a couple of minutes, until they are translucent. Add garlic, cumin, and oregano to the pot. Cook for a couple more minutes, until fragrant. Add a little chicken broth to deglaze the pot, scraping up all those delicious brown bits. Return beef to the pot. Add the remainder of your chicken broth, and your chili paste. If you want a saucier chili, add more. Simmer for about two hours, or until flavors are fully developed. Add salt and pepper, and adjust seasonings as desired.

To make Paste

Cut the stems off each dried chili, and remove the seeds. This is easier to do if you use scissors, cut open, and flatten each chili. Do not rub your eyes before thoroughly washing your hands! If you are very sensitive, wear gloves. Cut chilis into smaller pieces to make them easier to puree. Place dried chili pieces into a sauce pot with water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until chili is very soft and tender. When tender, remove chilis from water with a slotted spoon. Place reconstituted chilis into a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.

Enjoy!

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