A few weekends ago, on The Barefoot Contessa, Ina was joined by a friend who made some mighty fine-looking chili. She referred to it as Texas Chili and she’s won awards for it. My mouth watered as I watched her put it together and I was definitely wishing for “taste o’vison” so I could try it too. So, off to market I went. (Well, truth be told – off to market I sent my husband.) I’ve made some adjustments to her recipe – but kept true to most of her ingredients. The chili has the perfect bite with just enough spice to make it interesting – but not so hot that your tongue is on fire.
3 lbs. stew meat, cubed
Olive or Vegetable oil
2 white onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers
1 ½ - 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, rough chopped (alternatively, you could use 1 large can - 28oz - of diced tomatoes.)
2 tlbs. groound cumin
2 tbls. chili powder
1 ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
¾ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbls. Salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup brewed coffee
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Garnish: Sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, green onions
Add enough oil to a heavy pot (that has a lid) to fry the stew meat in – approximately ¼ cup – and heat.
Dry the meat by patting with paper towels. Dry meat will brown better. Fry in batches until browned. Remove from pot to a plate or bowl. Fry in small batches so you don’t crowd the pan. Overcrowding will keep the meat from browning.
After all the meat has been browned and removed from the pot, add the chopped onions and garlic. Fry for about 8 minutes until translucent. Add the cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt and pepper to the onions. Continue cooking for a minute or two to cook the spices.
Add the tomatoes and bell peppers to the onions. Continue cooking and stirring for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the meat and juices back to the pot, along with the bay leaves. Stir to combine.
Add the wine to chili and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid and turn heat down. Simmer for 2 hours.
Remove lid after two hours. Add the coffee and beans. Stir to combine, replace lid and continue cooking for an additional hour.
Serve with crusty bread and garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese and sliced green onions – or whatever your little heart desires. Delish!