After a slight reprieve in January, I am back to the love blog hop. This month’s theme is soup and it couldn’t be more perfect with these cold Wisconsin nights we have been having.
When I saw this recipe in The Intolerant Family Cookbook, there was one thing and one thing only that drew me to it.
You could make it IN the oven.
Yes, I realize that I could convert any chili recipe to be made in the oven, but when it’s my first time with a new technique, I prefer to be told what do to. Call me a lemming, but I like to error on the safe side for new cooking experiments.
I have made beans in the oven before so I knew the advantages: constant, steady heat with little to no hands on work. And let me tell you, this was an awesome way to make chili. I guess it’s similar to a slow cooker, but when I made chili in the slow cooker, I have to get two pans dirty: one for cooking prep and then the actual slow cooker. For this, I did my prep cooking on the stove top, threw on a cover, and into the oven it went.
This was also my first time making chili with meat it in it. The only chili I have ever made is my famous veggie chili. This recipe pushed me into new frontiers on multiple levels.
I will say that I flirted fast and loose with the recipe. I kept the basic structure in tact, but changed most of the amounts and added a bunch of ingredients. This was largely due to us trying to clean out our fridge before vacation. In future renditions, I would like to continue to play with the recipe, but I will say it was a great starting point.
That being said, get creative with the recipe and suit it to your needs. I have some notes at the end about some suggestions on making it work for different tastes and dietary needs, but let your own palate be your guide.
Valentines Day Red Hot Beef Chili
modified from The Intolerant Family Cookbook
1-2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 cups sweet peppers, chopped (2 medium peppers or 12-15 small peppers)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound beef tips/stew meat
1 cup red wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 ounce) jar of medium salsa (we used Target Original which includes black beans and corn)*
1 [1/2] cups water
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained
[1/2] cup whole grape tomatoes
heaping [1/4] cup chili powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper*
*Our chili was really hot. I’m talking both of us were sweating as we ate it. We like it like that. You may not. To reduce the spice, reduce the cayenne pepper or omit completely. You can also replace the salsa with another can of diced tomatoes.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 (dgF). Adjust racks so that you will be able to fit your Dutch oven.
2. On the stove top, heat oil over medium heat in Dutch oven and add oil. Once oil is hot, add peppers and onions.
Saute until onions are golden and peppers are soft, approximately 6-8 minutes.
3. Add beef tips and garlic. Brown the meat on all sides, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add wine to de-glaze the pan and scrape the browned bits off the bottom.
4. Add tomatoes (diced and whole), salsa, black beans, corn, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Refill the salsa jar with water, swirl it around, and then dump into the pan (that’s your cup and a half of water). Stir to combine.
5. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, approximately 6-8 minutes. Cover and place in oven. “Bake” for 2 hours, stirring halfway through.
6. After two hours, the meat should be tender. If not, let bake longer, checking every 10-15 minutes. Once the meat is tender, you can serve immediately or you can reduce oven heat 200 (dgF) until you are ready to eat.
What surprised me most about the chili was how much it reduced while in the oven. I was concerned that it may be too watery, but we ended up with a thick and hearty chili.
Actually, let me re-phrase that: we ended up with a thick, hearty, and SPICY chili. It was my favorite kind of spice, the kind of spice that sneaks up on you slowly, escalating to a crescendo after you swallow. Because of that I had to load up on the fixings (avocado and Greek yogurt) to make it more palpable to my pregnant taste buds.
I also added handfuls of shredded lettuce (not pictured) which added a cool and refreshing element to my steaming bowl.
Though I love my veggie chili, I have to admit the meat was so tender that it melted in my mouth and was packed with all of the flavors of the spices and vegetables.
As I continue to evolve it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it begins to resemble my veggie chili more and more (with mushrooms and carrots and squash, oh my!) but I would hesitate to remove the meat completely.
As it stands, this chili on its own is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Woo-hoo!
To make it paleo– remove the beans and corn, add an additional pound of beef.
To make it vegan– replace the beef with an additional can of beans (pinto or black).
#Souplove Blog Hop:
As I mentioned, this post is part of a blog hop. All through the month of February, you can connect your soup recipes to the blog hop and share your recipes with a larger audience. If you are more interested in cooking than sharing, check out the posts below and the other blog hop hosts for some warming soup recipes throughout the month.
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