I don’t know how your households go, but in our house Sundays in the fall are football days. Any Sunday that Evan isn’t on duty we start with an awesome breakfast, accomplish anything that deeds to be done in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day wallowing around the house. We flip through games, watching parts of them here or there, open the windows to air things out, throw in a load of laundry, do some homework, but constantly meet back at the couch to see what all of our fantasy players are doing. For us, this is the i.d.e.a.l. way to spend a Sunday.
Most of these days, there’s a slow cooking meal simmering away all afternoon, and usually that meal is chili. I make a white chicken chili that Evan and my sister love, but I prefer a red chili, full of beef cubes cooked til they are shredding, and pepper and beans, in a thick beer/tomato broth. Noms!
If you wanted this to be a weeknight meal, there are two options- you could use ground beef, and it would come together easily. Or you could toss everything in a crock pot and cook on low all day- that would also be delicious. My preference, of course, is to let it cook over the course of a few
hours in a heavy dutch oven, but any way you make it, it’s an amazing fall meal!
Steak and Bean Chili
2 ½ lb beef
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can diced chilis
¼ cup chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp cumin
2 bottles or cans of beer
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
The meat: If you wanted to make this is a crock pot, or just save time, you might skip this step. If you want to make the best chili possible, you should leave it in 🙂 Start by cutting your beef (steak, a roast, stew meat…whatever you like) into bit sized pieces, and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy dutch oven to medium high, add some olive oil, and sear the meat in batches (I usually do two or three batches). Doing this in batches means that the meat actually gets that delicious brown crust, rather than steaming like it can when you add all of it to the pan. As each batch finishes, remove the meat to another bowl. Once all three batches are finished, check out your pan- it the bottom is super burnt, wash and dry before returning to the stove and adding a bit of oil. If the bottom is a little crusted but not too burnt, cover the bottom of the pan with beer and use a wooden spoon to loosen the crusty bits from the bottom- those will add great flavor. Reduce the beer until there’s only a very thin coating left in the pan. In either case, move on to the next step.
The rest: Add the diced onion and pepper to the pan and cook for about three minutes, or until the onion starts to get a bit translucent. Stir in the diced chilis and cook for another two minutes. Stir in the chili powder, oregano and cumin- it will be a bit dry, but I find that cooking the seasoning enhances its flavor. Finally, stir in ONE bottle/can of beer and 2 cans of tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium low for a nice, long time. At minimum, you’d like to cook this for at least an hour for the beef to start to tenderize. Ideally, you cook this for a few hours, stirring occasionally and adding more beer as the chili starts to look dry. 30 minutes before you’d like to eat, add the drained and rinsed bean. Top with anything you like- I love adding cheese, avocado and red onions!