Slow Simmer Chili



From Rock and Roll Comfort Cooking

Chili originated in San Antonio, Texas during the 1820s, and since then distinctive regional variations have developed. This hearty version is packed with the rich, slow-simmered flavor of an authentic Texas “ bowl of red."

Slow Simmer Chili

3 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and diced
1 or 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 poblano chili, roasted, peeled, and diced (see note)
4 cups beef broth
1 bottle (12 oz) lager beer
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Shredded Cheddar cheese , chopped red onion, and sour cream for garnish (optional)

  1. Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and brown the beef all over, working in batches and stirring until evenly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl.
  2. Add the onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno(s) and sauté until the onions are golden, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the meat, tomatoes, poblano chili, broth, beer, oregano, cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper or cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro, and with Cheddar cheese, red onion, and sour cream, if you wish.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Cook's Tips:

Roast the chili on a grill, over the flame of a gas stove, or under a preheated broiler until charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel off the skin with your fingers or a small, sharp knife. Core and seed.

FromRock and Roll Comfort Cooking by Sharon O'Connor