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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Last Stab at Winter

It's much warmer here and I feel as though I have made it through the winter.  In celebration, I ordered a couple of pair of sandals online and they have arrived.   They are very cute and of course I've told Ted that they're "all I'll need for spring and summer".  Of course, he knows better than to believe me.   I have scheduled my first pedicure of the season and soon my winter feet will be a thing of the past.  I'm feeling good.

But of course, Mr. Winter is not ready to say good bye quite yet.  Sunday was cold and damp and there was snow on my lawn.  Certainly not sandal weather but it was a good night for chili.

I have to admit, I like chili but I'm not a big chili maker.  Honestly, if it didn't completely offend my sensibilities as a cook, I would be tempted to use one of those prepared spice packages.  So, when I saw  Devon Fredericks making this chili with Ina Garten the other day on Barefoot Contessa,  I decided it was worth the trouble of all that chopping, measuring, and simmering.  I wasn't wrong.

This chili is so good that it actually won a chili making award for Ms. Fredericks.  It's so good that I think I'll pop this recipe into my chili recipes file folder.  Of course, that assumes that I have such a folder and that's a discussion for another day.  Perhaps a posting called "A First Stab at Spring".

Recipe:  Devon's Award-Winning Chili
(Devon Fredericks, 2010)


5 pounds beef brisket, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1 tablespoon cayenne, or to taste
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup strong coffee
6 cups tomatoes, chopped with their liquid
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (15-ounce ) cans kidney beans
2 tablespoons chopped basil

Serve with:
* Sour cream
* Grated cheddar
* Diced tomato
* Tortilla Chips
* Guacamole

Pat the brisket cubes dry with paper towels.  Heat the oil in a very large heavy-bottomed pot and quickly brown the meat, in batches, on all sides.  Transfer the brisket to a separate bowl and set aside.  Saute the onion and garlic in the same oil over medium heat until limp, but not brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the chili powder, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cumin and saute for 1 minute.  Add the green peppers, bay leaf, tomatoes with their juice, the reserved meat, 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Taste and season with salt, to taste.  Add the coffee, cover the pot and simmer for 1 more hour.

Add the kidney beans and basil and warm through.  Transfer the chili to a large serving bowl and serve with sour cream, grated cheddar, diced tomato, tortilla chips and guacamole.

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