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Friday, January 29, 2010

Gordon's Amazing Easy Chili Recipe

This is my honey's time-tested crowd-pleasing recipe with a few adaptations we've made over the last couple of years. And yes, it has beans ... and yes, we're Texans ... you wanna make something of it?

2 1/2 pounds 80/20 ground chuck
2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat or beef roast cut into small cubes
2 cups of diced onion and/or shallot (whatever you have handy)
1 head of garlic, minced
1 46-ounce can of V-8 juice
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 packet of Goya sazon (whichever version you prefer)
1 beef bouillon cube (we like Knorr brand)
2 cans Bush's Texas chili starter*
2 dried chipotle chile peppers (more or less to taste)
Red wine such as Cabernet to deglaze pan

* Bush's chili starter has become almost impossible to find. You can substitute a can or two of chili beans, and add cumin and regular chili powder to taste.

In a Dutch oven brown the ground beef. Pour into a colander to drain off fat, but leave a little fat in the pan to brown the stew meat. Brown the stew meat on all sides in stages in a single layer in the Dutch oven. Pour into colander to drain excess fat, again reserving just a little fat in the Dutch oven to cook the onion/shallot/garlic.

Add the onion and/or shallot. Stir and cook until slightly softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add a nice splash of red wine to pan to deglaze. After deglazing pan, return all browned stew meat and ground beef to Dutch oven.

Add V-8, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sazon, and beef bouillon cube and stir well. Add 2 whole dry chipotle peppers (or to your taste) and stir gently to avoid breaking the peppers so you can remove them before serving.

Remember that as the peppers simmer and rehydrate, the smoky spicy flavor will become stronger. Also keep in mind that you can always add more chipotles to make it more spicy, but once you go overboard, too bad, so sad. I recommend tasting the chili every 15 minutes or so to see if the spice level is to your liking.

Simmer the chili gently for several hours and let the liquid reduce. Add Bush's chili starter or chili beans plus cumin and regular chili powder to taste and continue simmering until chili is as thick as you like. Fish out the chipotle peppers.

This is nice served with all the fixings, Fritos, grated cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream, chopped cilantro, maybe a side of cornbread.

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