Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 6: Uptown Down-Home Chili

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 tablespoons grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/4 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juices, or 2 tablespoons ground chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bottle imported beer, such as Stella Artois
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
   8-ounce piece of smoked Gouda, shredded
1 small white onion, finely chopped

Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the EVOO and the meat. Season it with the grill seasoning and sear it, browning and crumbling it, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the meat to a plate and return the pot to the stove.

Reduce the heat to medium high and add the remaining tablespoon of EVOO. Add the mushrooms and begin to brown them before adding the other veggies. After 2 or 3 minutes the mushrooms will begin to shrink and soften.

Push the mushrooms off to one side of the pot and add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic to the opposite side of the pot.

Once they have been working for a few minutes, mix the veggies with the mushrooms.

Return the meat to the pan, and season with the Worcestershire sauce, chipotle, and cumin.

Add the beer to deglaze the pot, scraping up all the pan drippings. Reduce the beer by half, 2 minutes. Add the black beans, tomatoes, stock, and thyme to the chili and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors combine.

Taste to adjust the seasonings. Top bowlfuls of the chili with shredded smoked Gouda and finely chopped raw onions.


I like this chili. It's not too beany. I have made it several times before. I don't change much, I just use dried thyme instead of fresh. I used chicken stock instead of beef because I couldn't find beef stock in a can. I used the chipotle peppers in adobo. It was pretty hot for me, so we added some sour cream. I chopped the veggies up really fine for my husband's sake. That's all. This is probably my favorite chili ever.

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