Beef Chuck Chili with Homemade Jalapeno Cornbread
Today we are going to take a look at a classic style of chili with beef and vegetables that gains a wonderful texture from the addition of corn meal.
We are going to pair and serve our chili with a perfect side accompaniment -- a simple, spicy and delicious homemade jalapeno cornbread.
To make our chili we are going to start by chopping up one large green pepper and about 1 - 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms.
Heat some olive oil in a large pot to medium-high heat and then sauté the chopped pepper and mushrooms in the oil for 2-3 minutes.
Then add to the vegetables 2 pounds of beef chunks. This is usually stewing beef or cubed chuck steak. You want to brown the beef chunks while adding to the beef and vegetable mixture the following spices (stirring constantly to blend them in):
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1/2 to 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
6 minced cloves of garlic
salt to taste
Once you have blended all the spices in and browned the meat add to the pot enough beef stock to cover all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour and a half, uncovered, stirring occasionally. If necessary you can add a little more beef stock here or there as you go.
Simmering it for this long will make the beef very tender and moist.
After 90 minutes taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Then stir into the chili 2 tablespoons of yellow corn meal while continuing to let it simmer. Blend the corn meal in thoroughly so that it thickens the chili without lumping.
Simmer for another 20-30 minutes and the chili is ready to serve.
This chili is great with nacho chips and some sour cream on the side, but it is also perfect with some jalapeno cornbread.
You can bake the cornbread while the chili is simmering.
To make the cornbread mix together the following ingredients in a bowl:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a dash of salt
a dash of cayenne pepper
1 minced medium-sized jalapeno with seeds (do not seed the pepper!)
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
Add the buttermilk and egg mix to the first bowl and blend together. You want there to be no dry areas. Once blended pour into a lightly greased baking dish (8 inch).
Place in an oven preheated to 425 F. and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. The cornbread is done when the top is golden brown. (If you want you can test by inserting a thin tester into the cornbread. The bread is done if it comes out clean at the middle).
Let stand 10-15 minutes and then cut into squares to serve on the side of the Chuck Chili.
This tasty and warming fall classic goes well with some ice cold beer or a hearty table red wine.
(This recipe was originally posted on the original The Left Chapter blog in November, 2016)