This recipe for smoked beef chili is a great way to use leftover smoked brisket or tri-tip. We had great friends here last weekend, and Bob decided to put about six pounds of tri-tip in the smoker. It was a little bit overkill for seven people, so here we are. We used some to make steak salads when my nieces were over the following evening but still had a couple of pounds left, so I decided the best thing to do was make a Texas-style no-bean chili. It was the right thing to do.
It’s been a milestone week for Ella and Hailey. Thursday was their last day of middle school, and they will start high school in the fall. All the usual adages apply. Time flies, don’t blink, etc. There was no promotion ceremony or celebration, but in the first class of the morning, the teachers played a twenty-minute video with various student awards announcements and a slideshow of all the eighth-graders set to the One Republic song “I Lived.” The school emailed it to parents around the same time, so I watched it by myself at my kitchen table and cried. The girls were kind of bummed there was nothing more organized, but at least they were spared their mother’s spectacle of emotion. Silver linings.
It’s time now to capture what we can of what promises to be a short summer, with time flying at warped speed as it does these days. Always faster and faster, it seems.
Smoked Beef Chili – No Beans
(about 10 servings)
3 dried ancho chiles, stem removed, torn into pieces
2 cups hot water
1 large yellow or white onion (should yield 2 1/2 – 3 cups), chopped
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I use a non-GMO canola)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons sweet/smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds smoked tri-tip or brisket, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
32-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
7-ounce can mild green chiles
avocado or guacamole
Bring two cups of water to a boil and remove from heat. Remove the stems from ancho chiles, tear them into three or four pieces, and add them to the hot water. Allow the chiles to soak in the water for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, follow the next few steps.
Peel and chop the onion. Place the cooking oil in a large pot or Dutch oven, add the chopped onion, salt, Mexican oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaf, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
Chop the smoked beef into small chunks (approximately 3/4 inch).
Add the chopped meat to the cooked onions, stir, and allow it to warm up over low-medium heat.
Peel the garlic cloves.
Place the now soft ancho peppers along with the two cups of water in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic and blend until the mixture is smooth.
Add the ancho pepper/garlic puree to the pot and stir with the beef and onions. Turn the heat up to medium.
Add the diced tomatoes and green chiles (chopped) along with their juices.
Add another 1/2 cup of water, so the chili has enough liquid to cook down. Cover and simmer on low heat for at least one hour and up to two hours, stirring occasionally. The beef will become more tender the longer it simmers.
Serve hot or allow it to cool so you can freeze it for a rainy day.
Garnish to your taste before serving!
Food for thought
I’ve seen this in a couple different places, and I wanted to share it because it perfectly sums up how I feel about our current climate of division. I know that none of us want to feel like we are being manipulated, but…
“If you catch 100 red fire ants as well as 100 large black ants, and put them in a jar, at first, nothing will happen. However, if you violently shake the jar and dump them back on the ground the ants will fight until they eventually kill each other. The thing is, the red ants think the black ants are the enemy and vice versa when in reality, the real enemy is the person who shook the jar. This is exactly what’s happening in society today. Liberal vs. Conservative. Black vs. White. Pro Mask vs. Anti-Mask. Vax vs. Anti-vax. Rich vs. poor. Man vs. woman. Cop vs. citizen. [Etc.] The real question we need to be asking ourselves is who’s shaking the jar… and why?” Shera Starr