Monday, February 4, 2013

Good Ol" Chili

I have two all-time favorite chili recipes: One being my Grandpa's, and the other is PaleOMG's sweet potato chili. Both are pretty drastically different, but delicious nonetheless. This time of the year I'm always inspired to make something rich and hearty.

My grandpa only made his chili a couple of times a year and I can remember it being so hearty and comforting. Unfortunately, he never wrote down the recipe because there really wasn't one; he threw in everything he could find and cooked it all day long. Besides steaks on the grill, it's the only thing I really remember him cooking so it was always a special treat. He's been gone 7 years now and I miss him every day. He assumed more of a parent role in my life instead of a just a grandparent and I am eternally gratefully for that. He was gentle and stern at the same time. I knew never to test my limits but I also knew he would always take care of me. When I decided to make this chili I knew it would make me feel closer to him.

I made my own version of chili, drawing inspiration from my Grandpa and PaleOMG's Smoky Bacon Chili recipe.

Winter Chili

3-4 lb brisket, cubed
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into one-inch pieces
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Serves 6-8

1. Add 1 tablespoon of bacon fat (or fat of choice) to a Dutch oven and heat on low.

2. Place chunks of brisket into the Dutch oven and brown on each side.

3. Cover the meat with the oregano, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, cloves, thyme and cayenne pepper. Stir the meat so that it is evenly coated with the spices.

4. Stir in the tomatoes, diced bell pepper and bay leaves.

5. Toss in the sweet potatoes, stirring so that they are coated in the juices. Cover with lid and let simmer for about 1-2 hours, stirring frequently.

6. When potatoes are soft but not mushy, it's ready to be served.

* This is one of those dishes that you can allow to cook down all day on a lazy Sunday, or turn up the heat and cook it in an hour or less. I think the longer the better.

** I made this in the crockpot the second time I did it and it was just as good. Just brown the meat first then throw everything in. Cook for 6 or so hours and boom it's done.

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