It's official. The thermometer has dipped below 60. I'm ready for summer again! But in the meantime I need some really good soups and stews to help me make it through the winter. Here's my recipe for Chunky Chili.
1-1/2 pounds stew beef
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced (include leaves)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (14 ounce) beef broth
1 can kidney beans (or black beans or pinto beans – use your favorite!)
In a large saucepan, saute onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno and red pepper flakes in oil over medium heat. After cooking for 3-4 minutes, add stew beef and continue to cook until meat is browned all over. Add in chili powder, salt, cumin, and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour in tomatoes and kidney beans. Add beef broth to reach desired consistency – from ½ cup up to the whole can. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. The beef will tenderize as the chili cooks slowly.
This chili freezes really well.
I’d consider this chili a medium heat, but ...
To reduce the heat in this recipe, substitute chopped green pepper for the jalapeno and/or omit the red pepper flakes. To really get the chili flavor, you have to keep the chili powder to at least 2 teaspoons.
To crank up the heat, add a couple of glugs of Tabasco sauce with the tomatoes, increase the red pepper flakes and chili powder, even add another chopped jalapeno! You can also leave the seeds in the pepper, since that's where the heat is concentrated.
How do you eat YOUR chili? Here are some great toppings:
Fritos corn chips
Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Diced green onions
Chopped cilantro or parsley