Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hearty Beef and Bean Chili with Cornbread

The weather is finally cooling down a bit in Los Angeles (though it's supposed to be back in the 80's by Sunday!), which has left me frantically cooking as many warm-weather dishes as possible before it heats up again. 

Chili is the perfect antidote to the cool autumn air. And even when it's 80 degrees in October in LA, when I'm eating this chili I can almost image I'm in a warm cozy kitchen back east, with the wind rattling at the windows and the sound of the radiator clanking through the house, wondering when the first snow will fall.

Hearty Beef and Bean Chili
This hearty beef and bean chili has a smoky, southwestern flavor thanks to the fire-roasted tomatoes and chipotles in adobo.

1 1/2 lbs stew beef cut into chunks
1 28 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
6 Hungarian or other sweet peppers, seeded and chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotle peppers (from a can of chipotles in adobo), minced
1-2 TBSP adobo (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
2 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch over over high heat. 
2. Salt and pepper the beef. Add it to the pan in two batches, browning on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Lower the heat to medium. Add bell pepper, onion, sweet peppers, and garlic to the pan. Saute until beginning to get soft, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add chipotles, adobo, chili powder, paprika, and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes or until combined.
5. Add the beans, tomatoes, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
6. Bring to a boil. Add the beef back in and lower the heat so the chili is slowly simmering. Cover the pan and cook 1.5-2 hours or until the beef is very tender, stirring occasionally and tasting for seasoning along the way. 
7. Serve hot with fresh cornbread.

Cornbread with Parsley


6 TBSP melted unsalted butter
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C milk
2 T vinegar
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Spray a round baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the milk and vinegar (homemade buttermilk!). Let sit for 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
4. Whisk together the wet ingredients and parsley.
5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Batter will be a little lumpy, but that's okay.
6. Pour into baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Spicy, smoky, warm and hearty! 

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