YIPEE!! I love having friends and family over to watch my favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. GO HAWKS! For the first official game of the season, I invited some friends over to help me cheer on the Seahawks. Cheering is an appetite inducing activity and I wanted to feed the crowd something hearty and delicious! I decided to make GAMEDAY CHILI! Chili is the perfect football party dish! Since there would be people with different palates at my party, I wanted to make a chili that was flavorful but not too spicy. I love spicy but not everyone does. I provided different garnishes so folks could add what they wanted on their chili. The chili could be topped with cilantro, avocado, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips, cheese or even some hot sauce. I personally love to top with tortilla chips and cheese. So delish!
For the first time, I used Homemade Chili Paste instead of dry chili powder to make this chili. Honestly, I had never made chili paste and was so pleased with how this turned out. It looked, smelled and tasted great! If you have the time I would suggest making it. It was a simple process and added a nice flavor to the chili that I prefer over dry chili powder. If you do use dry chili powder, roast the powder in a pan first to release the oils and open up the flavors.
I used chuck stew meat instead of ground beef for this recipe. I bought the chuck already cut and packaged as stew meat from the local grocery store. You can buy a chuck roast and cut it up yourself but I was looking for convenience. I wanted my chili to have the consistency similar to using ground beef but with a different type of meat. In order to achieve the right consistency, I first seasoned the meat with salt and pepper and then browned it on medium high heat. I cooked the meat for a couple minutes on each side. I didn’t need to cook the meat all the way through as I would be placing the meat in the dutch oven with other ingredients to finish cooking.
Once the stew meat was browned on all sides, I ground it up in a food processor so it resembled ground beef.
If you haven’t done this before you should give it a try. It adds a complexity to the chili you wouldn’t have otherwise! When I added the ground meat to the rest of the ingredients, it gave the chili the hearty consistency I was hoping for.
Since I made this chili for a football game watching party, the portion sizes for ingredients are bigger than for a normal weeknight dinner. It should serve 8 – 12 people. You’ll need a big pot to handle all the ingredients. I used a 6 3/4 quart dutch oven. If you want to make chili for 4 – 6 people, just half the recipe.
To make cooking easier, have your ingredients ready so you’re not racing around your kitchen between steps in a recipe trying to gather ingredients or cut up items.
With the chili meat set aside, I melted the butter in my dutch oven. Once the butter was melted I added onions, garlic, oregano and salt. I cooked all this on medium high until the onions where soft (about 5 – 8 minutes). Let me just say, the aromas wafting past my nose while this was cooking was amazing!
After the onions were nice and soft, I added chipotles, my Homemade Chili Paste and cumin and continued cooking for another minute while stirring.
I then stirred in the tomato paste to the onion mixture. I made sure the tomato paste was thoroughly stirred in for about another minute while cooking. I must say, I love the deep dark red color of tomato paste. I would love a nice pair of heels in this color…ah but I diverge, shoes can make me do that sometimes, ha! Back on track; tomato paste can definitely add a lot of flavor so be careful when adding this ingredient to dishes. I made this chili with 12 ounces of tomato paste so it compliments the other ingredients and doesn’t overpower them.
I added the ground meat next and cooked for about 5 minutes until I didn’t see any pink left. Once the meat was done, I added the tomatoes, kidney beans, beef stock, cornmeal and pepper to taste. I brought this to a boil before reducing the heat to let it all simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. For this recipe, I used 1 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes and 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes. You can use 2 28-ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes for more tomato-y chunks in your chili.
I’ve always liked thick, rich chili better than runny, lumpy chili. When I added cornmeal to the chili, it soaked up some of the extra juices making the chili thicker. Who wants runny chili? Not me! Cornmeal is your friend when cooking chili. It adds a nice flavor and texture as well as making your chili thicker. Yummy!!
As you can see, this recipe makes a lot of chili. One thing I would suggest if you have time; make this chili a day ahead to let the flavors meld together. This chili is so good the day you make but even better then next day.
- 3 pounds stew meat (boneless chuck)
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 3 large onions or 4 medium onions , chopped
- 4 large cloves of garlic , minced
- salt (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
- 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce , chopped
- 1 cup of Homemade Chili Paste or 1/2 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 12- ounce can of tomato paste
- 1 28- ounce whole , peeled tomatoes chopped
- 1 28- ounce crushed tomatoes
- 2 15- ounce cans red kidney beans , drained
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3/4 cups cornmeal
- ground pepper
Brown meat in fry pan on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes each side. Transfer meat into food processor and pulse until the consistency of ground beef. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may have to do this in stages. Set meat aside.
Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, garlic and salt and cook on medium-high, stirring frequently until the onions become soft, about 5 – 8 minutes.
Add the chipotles, Homemade Chili Paste and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomato paste. Make sure all the ingredients are stirred in well together. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the ground stew meat and cook for 8 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, stock, cornmeal and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Garnish with cilantro, avocado, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips, cheese or even some hot sauce. Whatever suits your fancy!
This recipe is inspired by The Food Lab’s Easy Weeknight Ground Beef Chili.