So begins my culinary journey.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to focus on breads in January. Then I started thinking, it’s getting colder, and what is bread without some soup or stew. So, I am planning a twofer each week.
This week: Chili and cornbread.
Yup, I am starting out slow. I was going to go straight for the yeast and such, but I want to make my own sourdough starter and that is going to take about a week. So this week, I am opting for a simple pairing, chili and cornbread, to combat the cold weather. Mother Nature must have heard because not an hour after I started my chili, it started to snow.
But back to the good stuff.
Chili really isn’t a go-to dish for me. I’ve never been a huge fan of beans, nor spicy foods.
So, as you’ll see from my recipe, I used fewer beans than suggested and more meat. I also used a few meats, instead of only ground beef, and a beer for my stock. I am hoping both choices will add more layers of flavor.
The beer is Deadeye Stout by Triton Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, Indiana. The label says: “Dark and opaque, with a big roasty malty nose, a slight hint of coffee and notes of sweet toffee, all swaddled in oat creaminess, this beer delivers the full-bodied mouth-feel you expect from a stout.”
The finished chili product was a good balance of acidity and sweetness, with all the savory goodness you would expect from the meat and beans. It had a bit of a kick, too, but not so much that I couldn’t handle it (and I am a wimp). I am not sure the Deadeye Stout added the flavor I was looking for. I was hoping it would add some of that toffee and coffee flavor to the mix, but I suspect there wasn’t enough of that in the beer to begin with. Lastly, next time I plan to add the tomatoes in at the end or as a garnish, as I prefer them not cooked down.
The cornbread was perfect. I used a smaller, deeper dish, so it took longer to cook, but it was worth the wait. I did slather on a little butter, although I would say that is my own preference. Even without the butter, the cornbread still was very moist and just sweet enough.
baby, it’s cold outside chili
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound stew beef
- 1½ cup diced onion
- 1½ cup diced celery
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 bottle Deadeye Stout
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (I added a little more as the chili cooked)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 small habaneros
- ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
1. Heat oil, on medium heat, in a dutch oven or large pot. Season stew beef with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Add to the pan and brown on all sides.
2. Add onion, celery, habanero and garlic to the pan, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and the meat is fully cooked. Transfer to a Crockpot on low heat.
3. Fully cook ground beef and pork, using a spatula or spoon to break the meats into smaller pieces. Transfer to the Crockpot.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cover with a lid.
5. Let the chili simmer for 4-6 hours. Serve hot. I garnished with cheese and fried onions.
(Recipe modified from a post at theblackpeppercorn.com)
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups 2% milk
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Combine eggs and milk. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
4. Pour into a greased 13×9-inch baking pan.
5. Bake 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm. Yield: 15 servings.
(Recipe from tasteofhome.com)