This chili is hearty, rich, and super flavorful. It’s the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold or rainy day. Using stew meat instead of ground beef completely elevates it and makes it feel kind of deluxe.
Recipe + Styling + Photography by Tux Loerzel
How are you dealing with these strange times?
I try to do an online game night once a week with my friends to keep some feeling of normalcy. My dogs are also living their best life with all the extra walks and snuggles they’ve been getting, and I’m lucky enough to have outdoor space in Brooklyn, so gardening has been a big help too.
How important has cooking been for you?
Cooking, and especially baking, has been a lifesaver for me. It’s great to have something to do with my time of course, but it can also be super therapeutic. Whenever I’ve felt really low, I’ve tried to bake something that I can easily split up and package to share with my friends and neighbors. My neighbor across the hall has had so many goodies left on her welcome mat.
Any tips for the rest of us?
I think the most helpful thing that I’ve heard during this time is “It’s okay
to not be okay.” These are difficult times, and it takes a toll. Don’t be afraid to cry if you need to. You have to let yourself recognize and deal with negative feelings, so you can move past them and feel better later.
What is the one good thing you can say about all this?
I wish it didn’t take a pandemic for this to happen, but we’re seeing an entire movement of people taking a stand against inequality, racism, and hatred, and it feels like we’re watching history in the making. I hope that momentum keeps going, and we get to see some real change toward a more equal and equitable future.
MAKES ABOUT 6 SERVINGS
3 pounds beef chuck or beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (or more to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons masa corn flour(or all-purpose flour)
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 cup good ale or dark beer, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced (depending on how spicy you like it)
5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
3 cups beef stock
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
15-ounce can red kidney beans
15-ounce can black beans
grated cheddar cheese
torn cilantro leaves
- If using pre-cut stew meat, you may need to cut it smaller to get 1-inch pieces. Toss beef in salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, chili powder, and masa to evenly coat.
- In a large, heavy-bottom Dutch oven or stockpot, heat about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Brown the meat in batches for 5 to 6 minutes, turning each piece about halfway through to brown multiple sides. Do not overcrowd the pan or the meat will steam, not brown.
- Transfer browned beef to a bowl to rest while you brown the next batch, and repeat until all meat is browned. Add more oil between batches if necessary.
- Once you’ve removed the last batch of meat, deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of the beer. Scrape up any stuck bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Reduce beer to almost dry. Add another tablespoon of oil, and, once the oil is hot, sauté the onions for a minute or two. Add bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Add beef stock, remaining beer, and browned beef cubes to the pan, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer for 30 minutes more.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and beans. Continue to simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes more or until the beef is fork tender and the liquid is slightly reduced and nicely thickened.
- Taste and season again with salt and pepper if necessary. If the chili is too thin, continue to simmer uncovered until it’s thick enough. If too thick, thin it out with additional beef stock, about 1/4 cup at a time.
- Garnish with grated cheese, sour cream, torn cilantro leaves, and/or avocado. Serve with warm cornbread if desired.
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