The Ultimate Recipe
Ultimate Slow-Braised Chili ~ Super Food Recipes
For us, autumn is the perfect time of year to make and serve big pots of this black bean stew.
Basically a robust meat and black bean stew seasoned with spicy peppers, it's satisfying, fortifying and warms you up from the inside.
Long ago I learned that there seem to be endless versions.
Just look at all the cook-offs around the world.
To all those different versions, I'd like to add one of our own, a recipe we've developed over the years and accompanied with an ice-cold beer, after all, a perfect accompaniment, as well as a rich source of flavor in many recipes, including this one.
As you'll see, there are many stages to the preparation, though each is fairly simple.
Don't worry, the raves will be worth it!
The reason behind the number of steps is the fact that a good dish has real complexity and depth, giving this recipe many different layers of flavors and textures, all of which work together to produce a stew that satisfies mightily with every spoonful.
Here, the recipe calls for beef.
But you could also make it with pork, lamb, duck, or even chicken. (If using chicken, I only add the browned meat to the pot for the last 30 minutes of simmering.)
Once you've tasted it, you can also feel free to vary the seasonings, and the heat level, as you like.
This recipe makes the best ever.
It’s a very rich and hearty dish, and a little goes a long way.
If you like yours spicy like we do, you can add a chopped
and/or 1/2 to 1 tsp. red chili flakes (or offer to guests on the side).
Serve your chili with warmed corn tortillas or a nice crusty bread and a green salad topped with orange slices and you've got a complete meal that will have them wanting for more!
Makes: 10 to 12 Servings
1/2 lb. dried black beans
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2-1/2 lbs. boneless beef chuck or round, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 lbs. yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice, plus 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and quartered
3-1/2 c. organic beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 small head garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbs. coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbs. ground cumin
2 Tbs. paprika
2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
4-1/2 c. dark beer
1/2 carrot, cut into chunks
1/2 celery stalk, cut into chunks
1-1/2 c. water
2 jalapeno chiles, halved, stemmed, seeded, de-veined, and minced
2 serrano chiles, halves, stemmed, seeded, de-veined, and minced
1 bunch fresh oregano, leaves finely chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves finely chopped
1/4 c. molasses
Crumbled or shredded Monterey jack cheese, for serving
Chopped yellow onion, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Fresh, warm flour or corn tortillas, for serving
The night before, sort through the beans, put in a sieve, and rinse under cold water.
Transfer to a bowl and add cold water to cover by 2 inches.
Cover loosely and soak overnight at room temperature.
At least 3 hours before you plan to serve the chili, heat 1/2 cup oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
Add the beef and saute, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, heat the remaining oil.
Add the pasilla chiles and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes, then remove and set aside.
In the same pot, saute the diced onion until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, put 2 cups broth and the sauteed pasillas.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and, following manufacturer's instructions to take care when working with hot liquids, puree.
Stir the bay leaves, garlic, pepper, cumin and paprika into the pot with the onions and braise until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Pour in the broth-chile puree.
Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, beef, and beer.
Partially cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours, until the beef is very tender and the sauce is thick.
Meanwhile, prepare the beans.
Drain them, reserving the soaking liquid.
Put the beans in a saucepan with the quartered yellow onion, carrot, and celery.
Pour in the remaining broth and the 1-1/2 cups water.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer briskly until tender, about 2 hours, adding reserved soaking liquid if needed to keep the beans covered.
Remove the onion, carrot and celery.
Drain the beans, reserving the liquid.
Stir the jalapenos, serranos, oregano, thyme, and lemon zest and juice into the beef mixture.
Stir in the drained bean and cilantro, then the molasses.
If the chili seems too thick, stir in some reserved bean cooking liquid.
Season to taste with salt.
Remove the bay leaves.
Serve accompanied by bowls of cheese, onion and sour cream, for guests to add to taste, along with warm tortillas.
We hope you and your friends enjoy this ultimate chili recipe!
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