The Butcher's Stew

"The base of this classic, New York firehouse-style chili recipe was shared with me by a friend who works at New York Ladder. I, of course, doctored it to be a bit darker and more evil! Depending on how meaty you want the chili, you can add more or less ground beef to your version, but make sure you cook it on that low steady temperature for a few hours to let the flavors soak in."

The Butcher's Stew

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

4 hours

Serves

16 people

Excerpted with permission from The Nightmare Before Dinner, ©2018 by Zach Neil. Race Point Publishing, an Imprint of the Quarto Group.

“The base of this classic, New York firehouse-style chili recipe was shared with me by a friend who works at New York Ladder. I, of course, doctored it to be a bit darker and more evil! Depending on how meaty you want the chili, you can add more or less ground beef to your version, but make sure you cook it on that low steady temperature for a few hours to let the flavors soak in.”

This stew can be served with Hallowpeño Honey Cheddar Cornbread (ingredients and directions included in the Love It Pot Pie Recipe here).

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large red onions, diced
  • 2 to 4 pounds (907 g to 1.8 kg) ground beef (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic or garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1-1⁄2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large cans (23 ounces, or 660 g each) tomato soup
  • 4 cans (14.5 ounces, or 411 g, each) stewed tomatoes
  • 15 ounces (13⁄4 cups, or 425 g) canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15.25 ounces, or 432 g, each) whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces, or 425 g, each) kidney beans
  • 2 cans (15 ounces, or 425 g, each) black beans, drained
  • For serving chopped scallion greens
  • For serving shredded cheddar or vegan cheddar-style cheese

Preparation

  • 1 Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium for about 3 minutes. Then add the chopped bell peppers and onions. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  • 2 Add the ground beef, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and sriracha. Continue to cook until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
  • 3 Add the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and sugar. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  • 4 After the meat and veggies are cooked, add the tomato soup and stewed tomatoes. (Use a large spoon or potato smasher and try to smash up the stewed tomatoes.) Then add the crushed tomatoes, corn, and beans. Cook on low heat for at least 2 hours (or up to 3 hours for maximum flavor).
  • 5 To serve, divide the stew among bowls. Drizzle with a swirl of Sweet Lime Cream Sauce (directions below), and sprinkle with fresh chopped scallions and a little shredded cheese.
  • 6 GO VEGAN! Use tempeh or meatless crumbles in lieu of ground beef.
  • 7 To make the Sweet Lime Cream Sauce: Mix 2 cups (460 g) sour cream, 1/2 cup (120 ml) lime juice, 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk briskly until fully blended. Store in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator.

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