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Friday, January 9, 2009

double-beef chili

double beef chili 1

Chili is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you're trying to plan a healthy dinner. But if you're careful not to pile on too much cheese and sour cream (ahem), it's actually a good balance. There's a ton of protein, in this case from both the ground sirloin and the trimmed brisket; there's fiber and more protein from kidney and black beans; there's tons of vitamins and antioxidants in the tomatoes, peppers and the butternut squash. And if you consider how well it freezes and reheats, it's basically the perfect one-dish meal. I was inspired to try brisket and butternut squash by a recipe I found in Bon Appetit months ago, although beyond these 2 ingredients, I put this together on my own.

Grocery list: 1 pound lean ground sirloin, 2 pounds brisket (trimmed of fat and cut into bite-size cubes), 1 butternut squash, 1-2 onions, garlic, 1 bell pepper, 2 cans of beans (kidney and/or black bean work well), 2-4 cups beef stock, 2 28-ounce cans crushed or diced tomatoes, chili spices (paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin).

onions garlic peppers for chili

Start by chopping the vegetables for the base. Set a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and add the onion and pepper. After 2 minutes, add the garlic.

cooking ground beef for chili

Stir well, then add the ground meat and break up with a spoon.

seasoning brisket for chili

While the ground beef starts to cook, season the brisket with salt and pepper. I trimmed it of any excess fat I could find before cutting it into pieces. Add the brisket pieces to the pan and stir to combine.

seasoning cooked beef for chili

The idea is to get the brisket pieces to brown a bit on the outside; you don't need to cook them all the way through because they will braise in the chili for hours. Once the meat is brown (only a few minutes), add the seasoning. I used about 3 T of chili powder, 1 tsp of cayenne, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 T paprika. I also added a few splashes of Frank's Red Hot. This part is really up to you - just remember you can always add heat later, but you can't take it away.

adding beans and crushed tomatoes to chili

Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly. Add them to the pan, along with both cans of tomatoes (including the tomato juice). Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a slow simmer.

cubed butternut squash in chili

Finally, peel and cube the butternut squash into bite-size pieces, and add to the chili. Cook uncovered, adding beef stock every 30 minutes or so as the liquid evaporates.

chili cooked down

I let this chili simmer all afternoon, so I added nearly a quart of beef stock over the course of the day, but you might need less. You can see in the picture above how much it has cooked down - this is just before I served it. Taste it and adjust the salt or spices as needed. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with sour cream, grated cheddar, even some chopped red onion or avocado.

1 comment:

Phil's Grill said...

Hi KT, your chili recipe looks fantastic! Phil says I am chili impaired (I am unable to put together an eatable pan of chili). Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables! I will give your recipe a try and maybe I can loose the chili impaired stigma. I wanted to let you know that Phil's Grill is sponsoring a giveaway
Also would you be interested in exchanging link? If you would put this link on your blog
I would put the link to your blog on Phil's Grill. Let me know what you decide.
Thanks for the chili recipe.