Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Big Pot of Chili and Jalapeño Beer Bread

As part of my preparation for my raw experiment in January, I'm trying to cook everything that I will most likely crave in the wee weeks of the year. One of those things is a steaming hot bowl of meat-ful chili and a thick slice of toasted bread.

Also, I wanted to try out my shiny new Cuisinart. Formerly when I wanted ground beef, I'd pick up the cut of meat I wanted then have the butcher grind it down for me (I have a very serious aversion to pre-packaged ground beef....I mean, really, who knows what is put in there?). With the powerful new processor on my counter, I can grind my own meat. Yay! These are the things that make me happy....

So here it is....a HUGE pot of chili. I wasn't thinking clearly when I decided to grind one pound each of chicken and beef (instead of total). The result is enough chili to feed a small army....or just my family for two nights.

The bread was a vehicle to help me get rid of an insane number of jalapeños from my parents' garden. I still have quite a few, but at least this made a dent!

Big Pot o' Chili

1 lb chuck roast, placed in freezer for about an hour
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, placed in freezer for about an hour
4 tbs butter
1 tbs dried marjoram
1 tbs dried savory
1 tbs mustard seed
1 tbs caraway seed
1 tbs peppercorns
1 tsp salt
1 tbs chili powder
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 6oz can tomato paste
4 15oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 c water
2 15oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbs Chipotle Tabasco sauce
additional salt and pepper
greek yogurt and fresh parsley, to garnish

Cut the beef and chicken into 1" cubes. In a food processor, pulse until ground to desired consistency.

Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add the ground meat and allow to brown. In a spice grinder, combine marjoram, savory, mustard, caraway, and pepper; grind into powder. Add ground spices, salt, and chili powder to the browning meat and stir to combine.

Once the meat is mostly brown, add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Allow to cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat ingredients. Pour in the diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Add water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add kidney beans and Tabasco. Stir to combine, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If needed, add additional salt and pepper to taste. To serve, ladle into individual bowls and top with a spoonful of greek yogurt and some chopped parsley. Makes a whopping 16 servings of chili!

Jalapeño Beer Bread

3 c unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c roasted jalapeños, diced
1 c shredded smoked cheddar
1 12oz bottle beer
1/2 c butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add the jalapeños and cheese. Pour the beer into the mixing bowl and stir until blended. Pour mixture into a greased 9" loaf pan and pour melted butter over the top of the loaf. Bake one hour or until golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and cool an additional 10 minutes before slicing. Makes one spicy loaf of bread that is perfect for dipping into soup or sandwiching for grilled cheese with a kick.

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