Smoky Red Chili . . . Ode to All-Clad
Whenever it snows in Colorado, I get the craving to make chili. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a traditional red chile, Texas style… New Mexico pork green chile – it’s all good. Last night we received 10 inches of new fresh powder… so I broke out my new All-Clad slow cooker and made this variation of red chili. The inclusion of peanut butter was recommended by my friend and incredible chef, David Wells. I know… it sounded strange to me too. But, it adds a wonderful woodsy flavor to the chili. You can use canola oil if you’re concerned about the fat content in the bacon. However, the bacon adds a really nice flavor. Use good quality, nitrate-free bacon.
All-Clad . . . All the Time!
Recently, All-Clad graciously sent me one piece of their new d5 stainless pans to test drive. They encouraged me to use the pan and provide honest feedback. I agreed. Odds were in their favor that I would write a nice review…. Disclaimer: I am a card-carrying All-Clad fanatic. Their products are terrific and I’ve been using their stainless steel pans for about 17 years. Let’s face it, there are less expensive pots and pans on the market… but they just don’t work as well and I find you end up replacing them. So, when I got serious about cooking . . . I invested in serious pans that will last a lifetime.
I doubted they could really improve upon the performance of their classic stainless line. It conducts heat nicely, is dishwasher friendly and always sparkles after easy clean-up. Boy, was I surprised by the improvement from the 3-ply design I have to the new redesigned 5-ply stainless line (hence the name d5).
They graciously sent me a 6-quart saute pan that is absolutely the best pan I’ve ever had!! The pan has a very prominent place in the kitchen as I’ve used it almost every day since it arrived. The new d5 technology conducts heat so evenly across the bottom of the pan, even cubes of meat that are pushed off to the side -away from the burner brown evenly! In fact, it’s probably as close as you can get to the heat performance of copper without paying the high price tag of copper. Newly redesigned handles are much easier to maneuver the pan – especially one so large and heavy.
The 6-quart size is absolutely ideal for so many meals. It has such a large surface area. I used it throughout the holidays . . . breakfast . . . lunch . . . and dinner.
All-Clad is very clever . . . they know that once you have a piece of this cookware in your home . . . the full fledged addiction will set in. Now, I can’t wait to add more pieces of this line to my ever growing All-Clad collection. Bottom line… they’ve done it again…..
I. Heart. All-Clad.
If you are interested in checking All-Clad’s d5 line, it is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.
Smoky Red Chili – Ingredients:
- 5 slices of bacon (chopped and crispy)
- 4 pounds beef chuck roast (trimmed of fat and cut into 3/4 inch cubes)
- 1.5 onions (chopped)
- 3 green jalapeno chiles (seeded, stemmed and minced)
- 1 red jalapeno chile (seeded, stemmed and minced)
- 2 tablespoons dark red (hot) chile powder (I order mine online from New Mexico)
- 2 tablespoons cumin (warmed in a pan, milled fresh from whole cumin seeds)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 6 (small) corn tortillas, torn into small squares
- 4 cups Organic chicken broth
- 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cans pinto beans
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 dried red chile pod (warmed then milled)
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon Mexican chocolate
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- fresh lime juice
- grated queso fresco
- sour cream, for garnish
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Chop and add to the bottom of the slow cooker. Drain bacon fat/oil from the skillet and set aside.
Pat beef dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the bacon oil to the skillet and heat over med-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the beef, then add to the slow cooker. Repeat this process with the remainder of the beef. You want that nice slightly burned brown bits at the bottom of the pan… not too burnt but just enough to add a nice rich flavor to the chili base. And it’s VERY IMPORTANT that you don’t crowd too much of the beef into the pan or it won’t brown… it will steam… so make sure there is plenty of room between beef chunks.
Add 2 more tablespoons of the bacon oil or butter to the same skillet and add onion, jalapenos, chili powders, cumin and salt. Cook until they soften (about 5 minutes) Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds… Then add the tomatoes. Blend well and simmer, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour into slow cooker. Add milled chile pod.
Place tortillas and chicken broth in a pan and heat until mushy. Place in blender or food processor and blend until pureed. Stir into slow cooker. This will thicken the chili and add a nice corn flavor.
Add chipotle, peanut butter, chocolate and cinnamon to the chili… blend well. Cover and cook until the meat is tender (this may vary depending upon your slow cooker) I cook on low for about 8-9 hours. During the last 2 hours, stir in the beans and fresh oregano. To serve, stir in some fresh cilantro and lime juice. Garnish with freshly grated cheese and or sour cream. For an extra kick, swirl a little adobo sauce from the chipotles in with the sour cream.