It’s chilly here this morning! It’s pouring rain outside in gopherland; wind is whistling through the ditch, rivulets of rain are slashed sideways on the windows of the trailer, streaming down in sheets. Gene Autry is singing on the stereo cause we’re still out here in the wild west. Here’s the garden from our living room — photographing through wet windows seems to turn the photo into impressionist painting . . . What’s not to love?
This is the kind of day in October California people dream about. It’s been sunny and warm everyday since we got here; we’ve been having dinners at our favorite restaurant at the beach, sitting outside in the balmy air, eating shrimp, watching the sun drop into the Pacific . . . but not today! Today it’s fall just the way it is New England, blustery and windy;
Today people on the Central Coast of California get to light their fires, wear their new boots, put on a warm sweater, read under a quilt, shop for pumpkins, light the stove to make chili and cornbread, and pretend they really do have a fall. ♣ We know it will be short lived and “summer” again in a couple of days, (which it must be since we are all looking forward to the Remnants of the Past Antique Show here in San Luis Obispo this weekend); we need to get all the enjoyment out of this storm as possible. Strikes me as the perfect day to make Chili! Good! I was hoping I would have the chance to give you this delicious recipe, I was saving it for a day like today . . . put on your apron, make a cup of tea, get out your big soup pot . . . and here we go.
But first. Potholders. Saw this photo, had to show you. Maybe the old crocheted really darling ones are too small for our 21st century hands, but a couple of them on top of the regular ones can make the whole pile look more interesting….aren’t they cute? ♥
OK, here we go. My recipe for Chili is on page 78 of the Autumn Book for all of you that have that book, prop it up in front of you, otherwise the recipe will be printed at the bottom of this post. The first thing you do (after you light a little candle for romantic support), is cut 3 lbs. of beef chuck into 1″ pieces. (Or, better yet, ask Joe to do it!)
While he doing this for you, heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil in a large heavy pot.
Brown the beef, but don’t cook through, over high heat, in three or four batches, giving the pieces a little space so they brown well. As each batch is done, remove them to a bowl. Add a little more canola oil when needed (3 – 4 Tbsp. total).
Mince 4 cloves of garlic …. add to the pot about 3 minutes before the last batch of beef chunks are brown. Then put all the meat and juices back into the pot.
One of the reasons this chili is so deep, dark, and delicious and has such gorgeous color is because it calls for a quarter of a cup of chili powder. I look for the best; and find it in large bags in the Mexican food aisle; if you can find it, you want “medium hot” from roasted chili pods. But as usual, any kind will work.
Add the chili powder, along with a little flour, oregano (I’ll give the whole recipe at the end so you don’t have to pay attention to the amounts right now), and ground cumin. Stir well.
Pour in 2 1/2 c. beef broth. Canned is fine, but there is also a product I really like called “Better than Boullion” — it comes in a jar you keep in the fridge — it’s like a rich beef paste you mix with water.
Stir well, cover, and simmer, setting your timer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t scorch the bottom. Over time, as it’s simmering, add in one more cup of beef broth.
Rinse two cans of pinto beans and allow to drain well while the chili cooks.
When the time is almost up, and you’re ready to serve, chop some red onion and fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.
When the timer goes off, add in the drained beans, stir well, heat through and serve.
Serve this chili with a spoonful of sour cream, sprinkled with red onion and cilantro — in a wide bowl, or if you’re in front of the TV, you could have it in one of those huge latté cups. Wonderful with corn bread, or even those corn toasties you can buy premade at the supermarket; also delicious with buttered sourdough toast. Dessert can be Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce (in Autumn Book too)! Or ice cream and that delicious chocolate sauce you made a couple of weeks ago (if there’s any left!). Here’s the easy recipe.
T O U C H D O W N C H I L I
- 3-4 Tbsp. Canola oil (use a Tbsp. at a time as needed)
- 3 lbs. beef chuck, cut in 1″ pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c. chili powder
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 3 1/2 c. beef broth, divided
- 2 – 15 oz. ans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
- garnishes: chopped red onion, sour cream and chopped cilantro
In a large heavy pot, heat oil, and brown beef chunks (not touching so they will brown well) in 3 or 4 batches, removing each batch to a bowl, adding a bit more oil when needed. When last batch is almost done, add garlic and cook 3 minutes more. Put all beef back into pot, stir in chili, flour, oregano, and cumin. Slowly stir in 2 1/2 c. beef broth (save last cup for later). Stir well, cover and simmer, 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally; over time, add last cup of broth. At the end of the cooking time, add drained beans, stir well, heat through and serve with garnishes. ♥
And one more thing . . .
Kellee is in the process of putting up some of the wonderful old potholders we found while wandering around on this trip in the vintage section of our web store. xoxo Have a great day! ♥