Every great cook has their own chili recipe. Growing up chili was a staple in our house. Everyone loves chili. Except for me. I don’t like kidney beans. I don’t like their fleshy, grainy textures, their hard exterior or their slightly woody flavour. Because of this, I rarely eat chili. But, unfortunately, I live with someone who loves with chili.
In flipping through the pages of my trusty Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day I discovered a recipe for Chili Con Carne which, to my delight, does not have kidney beans!!! I know this is something I should have probably known as I claim to love food but I didn’t.
This is the best chili ever! Huge chunks of tender, juicy meat, spicy and sweet peppers and a mix of amazing spices: chili powder, cumin, coriander and cilantro. It has a great Tex-Mex flavour to it. This chili has a rich, deep flavour and gives off an amazing aroma. It had such an intense smell that a vegetarian coworker admitted how good it smelt! I think if a meat-based meal can make a vegetarian admit that it smells and looks good, then you have a classic, make-again recipe.
And of course, what is chili without biscuits?
I made these biscuits as a Sunday morning, stay-in brunch, served with my fluffy scrambled eggs and prosciutto. They are best eaten day of, warm and flaky from the oven. The combination of cheddar, butter and green onion cannot be matched. This is another classic, make-again recipe.
I stumbled across two recipes that are easy and work perfectly together. Both are below the cut – happy munching!
Chili Con Carne
2 lb boneless beef chuck,, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped mixed chiles, such as jalapeno, serrano and poblano, seeded if desired
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups beef broth or water
1 cup sour cream (optional)
Leaves from 12 cilantro sprigs
Sprinkle the meat evenly with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy frying pan, warm 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat. Working in batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large, heavy pot.
Warm the remaining 1 Tbsp oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the chiles, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened and beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powd,er, cumin, and coriander and cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the oregano, season with salt and pepper, and stir well to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom.
Add the vegetable mixture to the pot with the beef. Place over medium heat, add the broth, and bring to a gentle boil, stirring ocassionally. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the meat is very tender, and the liquid is slightly thickened, about 2 1/2 hours. If the chili seems too soupy, uncover the pot for the last 30 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid.
Season the chili with salt and papper and serve, garnished with sour cream, if desired, and cilantro leaves.
Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in cheese and green onions. Slowly add the milk, stirring with a fork, until the batter reaches a soft dough consistency.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently 3 to 4 times until it holds together. Roll out to 3/4-inch (2 cm) thickness. Cut into squares or use a 3-inch (7.5 cm) cookie cutter for fun-shaped biscuits; reroll craps once to make about 12 biscuits. Place at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheet.
Topping: In a small bowl, combine melted butter and garlic powder; brush biscuits with half of the mixture. Bake for 12 min or until starting to brown. Brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake for an additional 2 to 3 min or until golden brown. Best served warm!