With our scarves tightened and Ugg boots layered with socks we faced the bone-chilling wind chill of 46º a few nights ago to take the pups for a little walk after dinner. Not going too far so as not to chill our fingers we returned to warm ourselves by the fire and got to clearing the dishes from our undeniably appropriate cold winter night's chili.
46º may not sound so cold, but for us in San Diego, it's life changing! Socks have come out of hiding, ugg boots have replaced sandals at the high school, and we've switched the coffee from iced to hot.
|Newspaper showing the "drastic" dress difference in San Diego from season to season!|
In all seriousness... when I moved here after spending 3 winters in Louisville, KY I laughed at how everyone was so cold all the time. I even sounded a bit like my parents saying, "Well, if you'd dress properly, you wouldn't be so cold!". We enjoy sunny days on the empty beaches in January, and gardening and planting roses in February. Over the years though, my winter "gear" has worn out and I find myself heading out on chilly mornings with just a light sweater and floppies, and yes... improperly dressed, I too am complaining about the cold.
Thinking chili is the perfect winter meal in any region I set out to sautee my poblanos, onions and garlic in the early afternoon. Adding spices to the vegies and then combining them with the browned beef along with a bottle of dark beer to simmer had the aromas wafting through the house for hours before we topped our steaming bowls with my favorite part of chili, the "goodies". Chopped, fresh cilantro and green onions were sprinkled over grated cheeses along with a dollop of sour cream. Some of us added a scoop of rice, but we all enjoyed a side of Buttermilk Cornbread Biscuits fresh from the oven.
With our bodies warmed and satiated we leaned back in our chairs, sighed and decided that Life is Good.
Beef Chili with Poblanos and Beer
Kim Kelly - Liv Life
We used jalapeños from our yard. The plant didn't produce all summer and starting in September began producing beautiful peppers! Unfortunately, without any heat they have no spice this year, but do have a good flavor...
1 lb (approximately) lean cubed beef (I used TJ's Stew Meat)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely diced (optional)
1 - 2 Poblano Peppers, seeded and chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1-2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp or more ground chipotle pepper (optional for spice!)
1 Tbs cumin
1 can diced tomatoes, including juices
3/4 bottle beer (I like Kona Brewing Company Firerock Pale Ale - 3/4 bottle for the chili, 1/4 bottle for me! Alternatively, you could add the whole bottle to the chili...)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black bean, drained and rinsed
2 cups beef broth
salt to taste
shredded cheeses (Pepper Jack, Cheddar or your favorite)
chopped green onion
Brown the beef in a large skillet with the olive oil.
In a large stock pot heat the additional oil over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and sautee until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and sautee until very aromatic, about 1 minute more. Add the browned beef to the vegie mixture. Pour the bottle of beer over the vegies and meat, stirring. Heat for a minute or so, then add the can of tomatoes. Add the beans and beef broth and water to cover.
Simmer over medium heat for a couple of hours or until the meat is very tender, adding more water if necessary. Taste and add more spice and salt if desired.
Ladle chili into bowls and top with your favorite chili goodies - onions, tomatoes, cheeses, sour cream or yogurt and avocado. We love Buttermilk Cornmeal Biscuits on the side!
Note: for a less spicy chili omit the jalapeño and chipotle powder, for more spice add more! When I make this for my parents I use a mile chili powder, no jalapeño and no chipotle powder. For my husband I use a spicy chili powder and 1 or 2 jalapeños - chipotle powder is added if more spice is needed.