Uptown Down-Home Chili
Fancy yet basic, this chili will please all! Serve with Rio Grande Fritter Cakes.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 2 tablespoons grill seasoning (a palmful), such as McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 pound shitake mushroom caps, sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juices or 1 generous palmful ground chipotle chili powder (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin (half a palmful)
- 1 bottle imported beer, such as Stella Artois
- 1 can black beans (15 ounces), drained
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
- 1 cup beef stock (8 ounces)
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 8 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO and the meat. Season it with grill seasoning and sear it up, browning and crumbling it, 3-5 minutes.
Transfer the meat to a plate and return the pot to stove. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the remaining tablespoon EVOO. Add the mushrooms and begin to brown them before adding the other veggies. After 2-3 minutes, the mushrooms will begin to shrink and soften. Push the mushrooms off to one side of the pot and add all the remaining veggies to the opposite side of the pot surface. Once the onion, celery, pepper and garlic have been working for a few minutes as well, mix the veggies with the mushrooms.
Add the meat back and season with the Worcestershire sauce, chipotles in adobo or chipotle powder and cumin. Add in the beer to deglaze the pot, scraping up all the pan drippings. Reduce the beer by half, about 2 minutes. Add the black beans, tomatoes, stock and thyme to the chili and simmer for 10 minutes for the flavors to combine. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
Top bowls of the chili with shredded smoked Gouda and finely chopped raw onions.