Chili Con Carne via The Parsley Thief

katie vitucci

I was given my first French oven {a.k.a. a Dutch oven, or an enameled cast iron pot} about 10 years ago, by my mother-in-law. For years now, a smaller version has been on my wish list...something more practically suited for a family of four & everyday cooking. So, when I recently won a gift certificate to a cooking store, I finally took the plunge & bought myself one!

It's been sitting on my stove for a week now...bringing a smile to my face every time I look at it. I christened the pot with a lovely, Sunday roast chicken. Next up, I wanted to make some kind of stew, pot roast, or chili suitable for the cold, winter days we've been having. This Chili Con Carne recipe is what I decided on. Personally, I am more of a ground beef & bean chili kind of girl. My kids, however, won't touch anything containing beans with a ten foot pole. My DH likes any kind of chili...but, every time I've made it with beef chuck, versus ground beef, he's seemed particularly happy. So, here it is...a spicy {but, not too spicy}, beef chuck chili...with no beans {a.k.a. a Texas style chili}. 

Chili Con Carne

Adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2011

Serves 8

Ground ancho chiles can be found at Whole Foods in a bag, versus selling out the big bucks for spice jars...or, look for it in Latin American grocery stores, along with the masa harina. 

vegetable oil

4 pounds cubed boneless beef chuck

2 onions, chopped

1 head of garlic, peeled & chopped

1/4-1/2 cup dried ancho chiles {adjust to your heat preference}

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 {12 ounce} bottle of dark beer

1 {28 ounce} can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons masa harina

optional garnishes: diced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded jack cheese & sour cream

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add a third of the beef {depending on the size of your pot}, sprinkle it with some kosher salt & cook until browned on all sides. Work in batches, until all the beef is browned. Transfer to a plate & set aside.

In the same pot, add another tablespoon of oil & stir in the onions. Saute for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic & cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the ground ancho chiles, cumin, allspice, cinnamon & cloves. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the beer & stir for 1 minute, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Return the beef, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot. Add the diced tomatoes, oregano & salt. Stir to combine & bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot & cook for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the beef is tender.

Remove the pot from the heat & let it sit at room temperature for one hour. Transfer the pot to the refrigerator, cover & chill overnight.

The next day, skim the fat from the chili. Bring back to a boil, adding in some water if it has thickened too much. Stir in the tomato paste & masa harina. Simmer, uncovered, for about a half hour, or until heated through & the beef is very tender.

Serve garnished with your favorite chili toppings.

[Photography courtesy of The Parsley Thief]