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Texas Beef Chili with Poblanos & Beer


Stashed in: Beer!, Meat!, Texas, Yum, Beer

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We have both kinds of chili here: Tex (chili powder, beer, kidney beans) AND Mex (poblanos, cubed chuck, cinnamon).

Note that the recipe as written calls for an 8-qt enameled cast iron pot to hold 4.5 lb of meat. That is just nutballs, a pot like that weighs like 30 lb and costs $300! I'd maybe reduce the amount of meat in this recipe and use a 6-qt pot.

So this recipe is potentially very yummy, but it didn't work perfectly for me the way it was written. I'd make these adjustments:

* This looked like a crazy amount of meat to me, but beef chuck can be quite fatty. Once it's trimmed up you will have just the right amount for a 6-quart pot.

* Life is too short to brown the aromatic veg in a separate pan. I did it in the same pot that I browned my meat in. Also, there is no need to brown the onions and poblanos separately, just bung them in together.

* Why on earth would you reduce the beer by half, and then immediately add 6 cups of liquid? Skip the reducing and just add less beef broth. If anything I might use two beers and less broth!

* In fact I only used 4 cups of broth and it was STILL way too watery after sitting a night and reducing for another hour. Caveat: I used a pressure cooker for 35 minutes instead of simmering for 2 hours... but still, next time I would use HALF the liquid -- 3 cups -- and call it a day.

* I think yellow cherry tomatoes look particularly pretty on top of the chili!

After another go-round or two, I have concluded that this recipe is a lot cheaper and easier to make with 7-bone steak/roast, which is cut from the chuck but has a giant bone in the shape of a 7 in the middle which makes it generally the cheapest cut of beef you can buy. I would rather deal with a big single piece than a lot of cubes, and I do not at all mind pulling the meat by hand after cooking because you get a leaner and nicer result.