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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lite Beef Chili

A perfect start to the long winter months ahead :-)
It was nice, very filling and soul warming :-)
I read someplace that cocoa powder is a great flavor enahncer in chili. This was new to me so I included some in the spice rub. The taste overall was good and I think the cocoa powder definetly added good color to the dish.
I am into lite cooking these days so I wanted to make this with as little added fat and salt as possible. So I began with a cut of meat that was lean and trimed off all the extra visible fat. And since I used canned kidney beans I added them in the last 10 mins of cooking to avoid an overly mushy texture.
(serves 2)

(prep time 15 mins)
(cook time 1 hour 15 mins)

Beef round steak 1 1/2 lbs
Celery 1/2 cup
Red onions 1/2 cup
Green bell pepper 1/2 cup
Garlic 1 tsp (minced)
Serrano chili 1 tsp (mined)
Canned tomatoes 1/2 cup (no salt added)
Canned red kidney beans (low sodium)
Oil for cooking 1 Tbs
Water 1 1/2 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp (I love using the pink himalayan salt for cooking - I get mine from Penzeys Spices)

For roux

Butter 1/2 Tbs
Flour 1/2 Tbs

Heat the butter in a non stick fry pan and add the flour to it.
Cook this on a medium high heat until the color of the paste turns medium brown.
This could burn easily so stir continually and don't take your eye off it.
Add some water to this (1/4 cup) and mix until all the lumps are gone.
Keep aside.

Spice Rub

Brown sugar 3/4 tsp
Cocoa powder 1/3 tsp
Dried chipotle 1 whole
Dried habenero chili 1 whole
Cumin seeds 3/4 tsp
Coriander 1/2 tsp
Whole peppercorns 1/4 tsp
Mexican dried oregano 1 tsp

Grind every thing in a coffee grinder and keep aside for later use.
The spice rub doesn't contain salt.


Avocado slices
Fresh lime juice
Green onions
Shredded cheese (I used pepper jack)


First prepare the steak, trim the extra fat and cut it up into 1/3" cubes.
Rub with the spice mix and let it marinade while you prep your vegetables.
Cut your celery, onions and green peppers into a fine dice about 1/4" thick.
Mince the garlic clove and the serrano chilies.
Heat some oil in a wide pot and sear the meat on high for a few minutes.
Don't worry about cooking it all way yet.
Remove the meat from the pot and keep it in a plate for later use.
Add all the veggies, garlic and chilies into the same pot and season with salt.
Turn the heat down to medium low.
Place the lid on the pot and let this cook for about 8-10 minutes or until all veggies are soft.
Add the meat back into the pot, add the tomatoes and the water.
Bring everything to a boil, cover and simmer on low for 50 mins.
Smash half the beans with a fork and add it to the pot.
Continue to cook for 15 mins.
Thicken as much as you like with the roux.
I ended up using half the amount I made.
The roux is very well cooked so just stir it in and cook the chili for another 5 mins.
I had this with some green onions, cilantro, avocado and shredded cheese.
Yummeee :-)



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