Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rainy Night Steak Chili

Someone mentioned chili about a week ago, and it sounded great so I bought most of the ingredients. The temperature dipped into the 40's today (inside and outside) and it's been raining for hours....time to put the chili plan into action!

What you need:
olive oil
1-2 onions, chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2-1 bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1-2 stalks of normal celery, chopped (or 1 entire bunch of miniature Paraguay celery, pictured)
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 steak, chopped (this kind was called carnaza negra, no idea what cut that is!)
1 C red wine for recipe, at least that much for chef :)
4 cups chicken stock or beef stock or 4 cups water and 1 bullion cube
200 g of kidney beans, pre-soaked**
1 can diced tomatoes
optional garnishes: cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, tortilla chips
I probably would've added some tomato paste if I had access to it to thicken things up a bit...

**there is this weird thing with red beans about how they are toxic if undercooked. So just to be on the safe side, and to speed up cooking, I soaked them all day, and then rinsed and brought to a boil in new water and let them sit in the hot water while I chopped and prepared everything else. That's them in the pot in the photo!

What to do:
Chop all veggies. Heat olive oil in a big pot and add onion, garlic, pepper, carrot, and celery. Cook until translucent/browned (a few minutes). Add spices and stir. Add chopped meat and allow to brown, but don't worry about cooking it through. Add wine, stock, and kidney beans. **Do not add tomatoes or salt, this will stop or slow down the beans' cooking process.

Cook on low until beans are tender. Mine took about an hour, after the soaking and pre-boiling. Keep in mind my stove's "low"setting is still boiling! Add tomatoes, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.

If you like, garnish with cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and/or tortilla chips.

I'm sure this would be good with chicken, ground beef, or, if you are lucky enough to have access to it, ground turkey! I just happened to have a steak in the fridge and no desire to walk to the grocery store in the rain! If you try it leave a note in the comments and let me know how it turned out.

*Note for Paraguayans-all ingredients for this were easy to find. Chili powder and cayenne were found at Casa Rica and celery at Agro Shopping. Everything else can be found anywhere.

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