Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chili and Cornbread

Every year we have a family chili contest the day after Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law's house. Each family makes chili and we have neighbors come over and judge the contest. Winner gets their name on a plaque and bragging rights for the year. I have won twice, however, sadly, not this past year. I am making a comeback .. so watch out all you Hardy families... because I am on a mission to make some winning chili in 2011! Tonight we tested out a new recipe that I found on another blog. It was really good... I think it has some potential. It was a little spicy for my taste but that can be easily adjusted with less jalapenos.

As for the cornbread, I didn't have a box of Jiffy in my pantry so I had to make it from scratch. It was really good and didn't even need extra butter on top! (And I usually always put butter on it!)


3-1/2 pounds sirloin or blade steak or chuck-eye roast, fat trimmed, cut into 3/4" pieces ( I used sirloin)
2 (15-oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 garlic cloves
2 medium onions, each cut into 8 pieces
2-3 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/2" pieces
3 tablespoons canola oil or safflower oil
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons molasses
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (12-oz) bottle beer ( I used Bud Light)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In food processor, mince garlic; add onions and jalapenos and pulse until chopped. (Or, chop garlic, onions and jalapenos by hand.)

On stove top, heat 1 tablespoon oil in oven-safe Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add onion/garlic/jalapeno mixture and saute until soft. Add chili powder, cornmeal, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and cocoa powder and stir; cook 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth, molasses, tomatoes, beans, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Pat meat dry and add half to skillet. Cook until browned on all sides. Add cooked meat to Dutch oven. Pour half of beer into skillet, stir and scrape to remove browned bits. Pour beer mixture into Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining oil, meat, and beer.

Combine everything in Dutch oven and heat through. Cover and move to oven. Bake until meat and beans are tender, approx. 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Stir, taste, and add more salt, if needed. Serve with cornbread and garnishes.

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Combine the eggs and milk. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm

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