Monday, October 6, 2008

Texas Beef Brisket Chile

This was the featured cover recipe in this month's Bon Appetit magazine. I made it yesterday and it turned out very well. I'm not sure that it is as much a chile recipe as a beef stew recipe, however. The flavor was great. I love baked squash, but never had it in a recipe like this. Diane, who doesn't care for squash liked it in this dish. My experience with brisket is to bake "low and slow," so I baked it at 250 degrees for 3 hours, then added the squash and baked another hour. I also thought it needed more veggies, so I added celery and frozen corn along with the squash. The end result was very tasty and the leftovers tonight should be even better! I didn't have any Mexican beer on hand, so I used one of Bill's Sierra Nevada Pale Ales. (Thanks, Bill- I still have 5 left for you!) One other note-I made a half batch. The brisket I had was a little over 2 lbs, so I just cut everything in half, except I did use the entire bottle of beer and the entire can of fire roasted tomatoes. I also used a serrano chile I had, I chopped it up and threw it in. The batch I made easily would serve 6-8 people. I also trimmed as much fat as I could off the brisket before cooking.

Texas Beef Brisket Chili
A cold-weather favorite, this all-beef, no-bean chili gets added appeal from a seasonal ingredient: butternut squash. For best results, make the chili at least one day ahead so that the flavors have time to meld.
8 to 10 servings
Recipe by Bruce Aidells
Photograph by Hans Gissinger
October 2008

6 large dried ancho chiles* (about 3 ounces), stemmed, seeded, coarsely torn
6 oz bacon, diced
1 1/4 pounds onions, chopped (about 4 cups)
1 5-pound flat-cut (also called first-cut) beef brisket, cut into 2 1/2- to 3-inch cubes
Coarse kosher salt
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 10-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles (1 3/4 cups)
1 12-ounce bottle Mexican beer
1 7-ounce can diced roasted green chiles
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
4 cups 1 1/2- to 2-inch chunks seeded peeled butternut squash (from 3 1/2-pound squash)

Fresh cilantro leaves
Chopped red onion
Diced avocado
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Warm corn and/or flour tortillas

Place chiles in medium bowl. Pour enough boiling water over to cover. Soak until chiles soften, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sauté bacon in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until beginning to brown. Add onions. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle beef all over with coarse salt and pepper. Add to pot; stir to coat. Set aside.
Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Place chiles in blender. Add 1 cup soaking liquid, garlic, chili powder, cumin seeds, oregano, coriander, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt; blend to puree, adding more soaking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if very thick. Pour puree over brisket in pot. Add tomatoes with juices, beer, green chiles, and cilantro stems. Stir to coat evenly.
Bring chili to simmer. Cover and place in oven. Cook 2 hours. Uncover and cook until beef is almost tender, about 1 hour. Add squash; stir to coat. Roast uncovered until beef and squash are tender, adding more soaking liquid if needed to keep meat covered, about 45 minutes longer. Season chili to taste with salt and pepper. Tilt pot and spoon off any fat from surface of sauce. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool 1 hour. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.
Set out garnishes in separate dishes. Rewarm chili over low heat. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
*Available at many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Latin markets

1 comment:

  1. That's the most technical chili recipe I have ever seen.

    Mine is much simpler. It's the beer that goes with it that matters.

    But...then again, my nickname is not "The Cook".