Saturday, May 18, 2013

Chili Con Carne

Now ordinarilly I wouldn't try a chili recipe.  Especially not one at a restaurant or off the internet without someone having referred me to it.  However, I had dried pinto beans looking to be used up and beef stew meat in my freezer waiting to be used up.  Can you tell it's Spring cleaning time!?  After a quick search on Food Network I came across this recipe

So this recipe required a little too much thinking for me...not because the recipe was difficult, but because I had dried pinto beans and had to figure out how much dried beans I would need to equal the same amount of canned beans.  I found this website, this one, and this website to be helpful in figuring out how to properly soak, cook and measure dried beans verse canned ready to use beans.  Although the process was very laborious the beans tasted phenomenal and are by far a lot cheaper then buying canned beans (you would have to buy 3 cans of beans to equal 1 bag of beans).  I've never been one to pass up on a bargain so bargain beans it is! 

In brief here is what I did with the dried pinto beans.  I placed one 16 oz bag of dried pinto beans in a bowl and covered it with water and let it sit over night.  I changed out the water a couple of times and added water when needed.  I also covered it with Saran Wrap and let it sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours I drained the beans and picked through them and tossed any that had lost their shells.  I then put them in a large pot and covered them with water an inch above the top of the beans.  Brought them to a boil and once boiling I put a lid on the pot and simmered them for 3-4 hours.  During the last hour I slightly salted them.  Once tender I drained them and continued along with the recipe.

So here is how else I adapted the recipe:

5 pounds of beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon salt (I didnt actually measure, just seasoned the meat and onions and then again at the end).
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large spanish onions chopped
5 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup chili powder, plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes (I definitely suggest this increase)
3 cups of cooked pinto beans (I cooked the whole 16 ounce bag of dried pinto beans but had 1 1/2 cups left to freeze for another time).
5 cups of homemade chicken stock (I used Tyler Florence's Recipe minus the turnip

We served it over rice, of course you can add cheese or other toppings you like.


Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and season with the salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large stew pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the meat, in small batches, until well browned, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Transfer meat to a bowl and reserve.

With 2 tablespoons of oil left in the pan saute the onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Stir in the 1/3 cup chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for 2 minutes. Add the canned diced tomatoes and whisk in 4 cups of the stock. Add the meat and any accumulated juices back to the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer. Season the chili with the salt and pepper, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender puree 1 1/2 cups of cooked pinto beans with the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock. Add the bean mixture to the chili along with the 1 1/2 cups of whole cooked pinto beans. Let simmer, uncovered, 1 hour more or until the meat is tender. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons chili powder and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with rice and your favorite condiments.

This recipe was only minorly adapted so much credit goes to Food Network for the recipe. 

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