Our Food Channel guest, Tammy, has provided her favorite recipe for a “chili day!” Here’s her cooking tale:
Over the years I’ve tried to perfect my steak chili and finally have a recipe that is perfect every time. I never really cared for hamburger chili, but loved the meatiness of using steak instead of ground beef. I’ve tried it with quick cooking steak such as tenderloin, sirloin, and even rib-eye, but because of the longer cooking time a tougher cut of meat worked much better.
Just about any kind of tougher slow cooking steak or roast works well for this recipe. Often, I will find stew meat on sale or a larger roast and break it down into smaller bite-size chunks. Whatever flavor of slow cooking meat that you prefer will work in this recipe. Pot roast, stew meat, or Chuck roast are some of the better cuts.
At first, I tried cooking the chili quickly in less than 30 minutes, but this left the flavors not melded together properly. In a quick cooking chili I used canned beans, which worked fine, but the flavors were just not there. Cooking the beans all day in a slow cooker made them mushy and gave the chili an off texture. So how was I to make this steak chili without babysitting it all day? Solution: I would have to come back to the chili at some point and add the beans later. So, after cooking the meat all day in the sauce the steak had the perfect texture and then 30 minutes before serving I would add the beans. This allowed them to heat through and pick up the flavor of the chili.
One of the best things about this chili is the variety of flavors that you can add or subtract. You can use any type of beans you prefer and I like a blend of three different kinds. There are however, some flavors you don’t want to leave out. A few of these include the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and the fire roasted tomatoes. While you can use any kind of tomatoes for chili, the fire roasted tomatoes really give a charred, smoky flavor to the chili. This really is the signature flavor in this chili. The brown sugar and vinegar combine to balance the flavors of sweet and acidic and really make a huge difference in the flavor. As far as chili powder goes, feel free to use any level of heat or style that you prefer. You can even use a blend of several chili powders to make the flavor you love.
When you’re finished making your chili it’s best served right out of the slow cooker with a variety of condiments and toppings for you and your guests. Enjoy!
- 2 to 3 pounds of stew meat
- 1/2 cup sherry wine
- 2/3 fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of chili powder or blend
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 3 cans of beans of your choice, black, Pinto, red, or kidney
- 1 Prepare your slow cooker either with a liner or set it on low and begin heating.
- 2 Brown the stew meat on the stove until it is nicely crusted all over. Sear the meat in batches and add to the slow cooker.
- 3 Deglaze the pan with the sherry wine, scraping up all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and add to the slow cooker.
- 4 Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the beans and the breadcrumbs, to the stew meat and cook on high 6 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours.
- 5 During the last 30 to 60 min. of cooking, add the breadcrumbs and the beans to the slow cooker.
- 6 If your chili is too thick for your taste you may add the liquid from the can of beans.
- 7 Stir to combine and serve when ready.