Texas-Style Chili with Poblanos & Beer
Even if you’re not competing in the Terlingua cook-off, chili making is serious business in Texas. A bowl of red, as it’s called, is all about beef that’s cubed (not ground), browned, and braised in a spicy broth. If you add beans, well, you’d better drive a fast pickup. This version, rich and thick as a French daube, abides by the rules.
Texas-Style Beef Chili with Poblanos & Beer
This chili is best made the day before serving. This allows the flavors to meld, and makes it easier to skim the fat from the chili before reheating. Shredding a portion of the tender meat is an important step–it helps create a thick, luscious texture. Serve bowls of chili with cornbread and your favorite toppings. A dollop of Mexican-style crema helps cool the fire.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet onions, diced
3 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 4 ½-5 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 packet Homestyle Chili seasoning
1 cup amble ale, such as Shiner Bock, Bohemia, or Tecate Amber
6 cups beef broth
Sour cream or Mexican crema
Chopped fresh cilantro
For garnish (optional)
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the poblanos and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes, reducing heat if necessary to prevent onions from sticking to the pan or turning too brown.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the beef in batches, as necessary to prevent overcrowding the pan, and cook until all sides are brown and crusty (resist over stirring here, you want to give the meat time to achieve a deep color). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a plate, and repeat with remaining beef.
Return all the browned beef and onion mixture to the Dutch oven. Add the packet of Homestyle Chili seasoning and cook, stirring, until they form a thick paste on the meat, about 4 minutes. (Reduce heat if necessary to avoid burning spices.) Pour in the beer and deglaze the pan and simmer, stirring now and then, until slightly reduced and the meat mixture is thick. Pour in the beef broth and bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
If not serving immediately, cool for an hour and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim the fat from the top of the mixture. Using a slotted spoon, remove about 2 cups of the beef to a plate. Use two forks to shred the meat and return it to the pot. The shredded meat will help create a thicker-textured chili.
Serve the hot chili in warmed bowls with a dollop of sour cream or crema and fresh cilantro, if desired.