Beef Chipotle Chili

This is an oldie but goodie in my household. With the rainy day outside, I thought it was the perfect comfort food meal for a cozy night at home.

This is a bean-less (for those of you like me who dislike beans!) chili and a Williams-Sonoma recipe.

I love crockpot yum. It is neat to throw a meal into the slow cooker and hours later have a wonderful easy meal to dish out.  This recipe does require a bit more work since the meat is to be browned beforehand but it is still simple.

As the thunder rolls outside, I am counting the last hours of this meal cooking!  The cornbread is baked and waiting!  I am curled up on the couch with the leftover beer from the recipe!

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INGREDIENTS

Flour, 1/4 cup          (I don’t measure… just pour 1/2 cup intervals into the big ziploc bag as needed with each batch)

Salt and freshly ground pepper      (I don’t measure…)

Boneless Beef Chuck, 3 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into chunks

Olive oil, 4-6 tablespoons       (I don’t measure…)

Dried Oregano, 1 1/2 tablespoons      (I use more…)

Garlic, 4 cloves, minced

Red onions, 2, finely chopped

Beef broth, 2 cups (16 fl oz)

Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, 1 can (7 oz)       (I do not use a whole can – unless you want to sweat while eating!)

COOK’S TIP: Substitute a dark Mexican beer for all or part of the beef broth.  It will give the chili a rich, earthy flavor.  Bottles of the same chilled beer would also make an excellent accompaniment to this spicy, smokey chili.  (With two bottled beers, the two cup measurement will leave you with 1/2 beer to drink while prepping!)

RECIPE

1) Brown the beef:  In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Add the beef chunks and shake to coat evenly with the flour mixture; reserve the excess flour mixture.  In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 4 tablespoons of the oil.  Add half of the beef chunks and cook, turning as needed, until evenly browned on all sides, 10-12 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, and then transfer into the slow cooker.  Repeat with the remaining beef chunks, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil if needed.  Sprinkle the oregano over the meat.

2) Saute the vegetables:   Return the pain to medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and all but 1/2 cup of the onions (set aside) and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Sprinkle with the reserved flour mixture and saute for about 1 minute longer.  Pour in the broth (or beer) and add the chipotle chiles with their sauce, breaking up the chiles coarsely with your fingers.  Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom.  Pour over the beef.

3) Cook the chili: Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 3-4 hours or the low-heat setting for 6-8 hours.  The beef should be very tender.  Spoon the chili into bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup chopped onion, and serve.

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