She put on her favorite cozy pajamas and socks the moment she came inside from the snow. The wet layers of clothing she peeled off laying where they fell on the kitchen floor to dry. A fire was crackling on the hearth, lights dim, the Christmas tree bold and beautiful. She dug into a bowl of hot chili in front of the fire, contented and warm. Cornbread followed as a vessel in lieu of a spoon; utensils are overrated.
This recipe is adapted ever so slightly from Jim Maturo's award-winning chili in The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook. We had our first snow that stuck to the pavement yesterday, and this chili served with Corn Sticks (also based on a Lodge recipe for cornbread) was the perfect complement.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 pounds beef chuck or sirloin tip roast trimmed and cut into small cubes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 tablespoons chili powder, in 2 servings
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained, optional
- Toppings! Tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, sliced jalapeno and/or chopped onion
Heat the butter in a 4 quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Add the broths, tomato sauce, onions, 3 tablespoons chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and continue to boil about 45 minutes, or until meat is tender.
Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 30 minutes. At this point, I added a can of rinsed and drained white beans as I like them but not essential. Add additional broth to adjust texture if desired.
Serve with generous serving of toppings of your choice. I served mine with cheddar, onions, jalapeños and blue corn tortilla chips.
We also enjoyed corn sticks made in Lodge cast iron pans my mother gave me. She was a cast iron fan well before me it appears. Lodge has a multitude of corn bread recipes in their cookbooks. We used the sour cream cornbread version from A Skillet Full.