The Northeast has been just slammed with one snow storm after the other and we have all been basically trapped in our houses for days on end. During this forced hibernation, we’ve sought warmth and comfort, whether it be a cup of tea and a warm duvet, or hanging out in fuzzy slippers and pjs while playing the Wii with the kids. It’s just those kinds of days.
We’ve also been cooking things that are comforting and warming. There has been Irish Oatmeal and Popovers for breakfast, homemade Macaroni and Cheese for lunch and soups and stews of various varieties for dinner. Anything to just keep us warm on the inside and fuel us while we shovel out a path to the rest of the world.
Last weekend, during yet another snowstorm and a day inside, we were glued to the TV in hopes that our home football team, from NY*, would win and take us on to the big game (otherwise known as the Super “Bleep”**). That didn’t quite happen, but we really enjoyed the chili and cornbread we ate while rooting them on.*Rhymes with lets, pets, and bets. **Apparently only officially licensed sponsors can use the real name. And did you know, that you can’t actually say the Team Name? It’s true. You can only refer to their cities of origin but not by their official NFL monikers. I’m not even sure if you can say NFL. Opps. Said it twice! (And yes, I know, I probably can say their names because I am not actually advertising or selling anything. I just didn’t want to.)
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 lbs ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno diced, (remove ribs and seeds for less heat)
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
2 chipotle peppers, canned variety with a some paste, diced
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 cup water
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 tbs cayenne pepper
½ tsp Spanish paprika (Pimentón de la Vera- Dulce, a sweet, smoky paprika)
1 tbs red pepper flakes
1 tbs ground cumin
1½ tsp oregano
1½ tsp thyme
½ tsp ground coriander
In a large Dutch oven or other large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Cook the meat, turning frequently with a wooden spoon or spatula until browned through. Once cooked, remove the meat with a slotted spoon from pot and set aside in a bowl, leaving the liquids in the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, green bell pepper, garlic, Jalapeno and sauté until tender. Add the canned tomatoes, the chipotles and the beans. Cook for 5 minutes more.
Return the meat to the pot and add the water and tomato paste. Combine well and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
At this time, remove the cover and add the cayenne, paprika, red pepper, cumin, oregano, thyme and coriander and mix well. Let cook, continuing to simmer, uncovered for an additional half hour.
Add additional salt and pepper to taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. You may also add additional cayenne pepper if you prefer a hotter spice.
Spoon into large bowls and serve with corn bread or tortilla chips. You can also add toppings such as grated cheese, sour cream, chopped onion or chopped jalapenos.
However you like it, enjoy and may it keep you warm!