Woo! It is COLD outside! Time to pull out all the hats, scarves, mittens (or mitten if you're five and have already lost one at school...boo!), boots, snow pants, and coats and stock up on good soup recipes! It's like we get so frozen we have to just slurp our food off of spoons during the winter! Then we thaw out in the spring and fire up our grills again! Okay, so maybe it's not that bad...
This chili recipe is from the October issue of Everyday Food. It's got a super smokey chili flavor and is chili in the literal sense--only chilies involved here, no tomatoes! The only big change I made to the recipe was with the meat. I just had two pounds of good quality steaks in the freezer, so that's what we used. It's a little bit of a spicy soup but can be tamed down by adding extra beef broth.
Heather's Red Texas Chili
1 1/2 ounces dried guajillo chiles (we found these in a BIG bag at Walmart in the produce section for around $3)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon sauce
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium white onion, diced small
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons cornmeal
3 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
Place guajillos in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, and weight with a small plate to keep submerged. Let sit until pliable, 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup soaking liquid. Drain guajillos; discard stems and seeds. In a blender, blend guajillos, chipotle chile and sauce, and soaking liquid until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down side as needed. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids. Set chile puree aside.
Heat a heavy pot over medium-high. Add oil to pot, season beef with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes (do not crowd pot; work in batches if necessary). Transfer to bowl.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, and cornmeal and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add meat, broth, chile puree, and just enough water to cover meat, if necessary; bring to a boil over high. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Uncover and cook until meat is tender and chili is slightly thickened, 30 to 45 minutes.
Top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced onions!