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Chili for the Superbowl

Yield: 6 large servings

  • 3 lbs. beef chuck, cut into ½ inch dice (or, for a fast version substitute ground chuck)
  • 2 medium-large onions, diced
  • 1/2 head garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. grape seed oil, more if needed
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  ¼ cup Ancho chili powder
  • ¼ cup New Mexico or California chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup canned or fresh chopped tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • Splash of bourbon, preferably Jack Daniels
  • 2 cans drained kidney or black beans (or 1 cup dried beans, cooked)
  • Chopped red onions, grated sharp cheddar cheese for garnish

Dice the meat. Chop the onions and garlic. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan (not cast iron, which will react to the tomatoes later), and add as much of the meat as will loosely fill it. Salt and pepper, and keep over high heat until the bottom browns and releases from the pan; turn and continue to cook until the other side is brown. (NOTE: if using ground beef, do the same thing; let it cook undisturbed until you get some nice browning before you turn). Once the batch is browned, remove to a bowl, add another tablespoon oil, and brown another batch, until all the meat is browned and removed to the bowl.

Unless you've burned the pan, don't clean it, you want all that beautiful flavor to remain; just add another tablespoon oil, turn the heat down to medium, and add the onions to pan. Cook and stir until limp, and all the stuck meat bits have released from the bottom, then add garlic. Continue to cook briefly, until garlic softens, and add all the spices. Stir for a minute until fragrant. Add meat back to the pan with accumulated juices. Add tomatoes and bourbon. Bring to a boil, stirring, then turn down heat to very low, and cover. Simmer until tender, and the flavors have melded, about 1 1/4 hours, stirring frequently and adding water if needed. Adjust for salt and pepper. Add beans at least fifteen minutes before serving to heat thoroughly. Serve with chopped red onion and grated sharp cheddar cheese, or your favorite garnishes.