Chili Dutch Oven Style

IMG_6359 Hello friends, who else out there is obsessed with fall?  Like all things fall??  I think I am so obsessed with seasons because I grew up in California, the land of the eternal summer.  Really, all of them, but fall is my fave!  I love when the leaves start to change, the foggy mornings, apple picking, pumpkin patches, fires in the wood stove, hot tea, soup, rainy days that you get to stay inside and be cozy under a blanket with a good book, and a yummy bowl of chili.

There are SO many ways to cook chili, and all of them have their own places in this world.  Don’t have much time and need to get dinner on the table five minutes ago (I’M STARVING, MOM!!), cook it on the stovetop.  Not going to be home all day and want to come home to a wonderful smelling house and dinner ready, throw those ingredients in the crockpot and go do your thing.  You’re home and have a couple hours before dinnertime, it’s time to get out your pressure cooker or dutch oven.  And this time, it’s all about the dutch oven…

I didn’t own a dutch oven until Jen Hatmaker wrote about a recipe for Beef Bourguinon in her book For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.  Yes, I am that into what she preaches, I bought one just to make the recipe.  That’s me, sorry not sorry, and it was SO worth it.  That recipe is amazing, and there are so many fun recipes for dutch ovens.  Did you know you can make bread in them??  Yep, it emulates a hearth oven and that bread comes out of there looking like you bought it at a fancy bakery.  Worth it people.  I bought the Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red and totally give it 5 stars.  The package will be HEAVY because it’s the real deal, cast iron.

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Let’s get this chili party started.  Roast your peppers at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  You can use whatever kind of peppers you’d like; I opted for poblanos.  To go milder, try bell peppers.  To get spicier, try jalapeños or serranos.  You could go totally crazy and do a combination.  Up to you.  Check your peppers around 20 minutes.  My poblanos because of size and thickness, got another 10 minutes and then 5 minutes on broil to get them to the color I wanted.

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Now let’s chat about meat, namely your ground beef.  I like to stick with local, grass fed beef.  I am blessed to live where this is a real thing, and I know this is not always an option for people.  Did you know you don’t even have to drain the meat when using this kind of beef?  It’s that clean and not fatty, for realz.  If you don’t have this option, most stores offer it, but for a pretty penny.  An alternative that I have found very good meat at is Zaycon foods.  It’s a lot of meat at once, but it never hurts to have a freezer stocked with healthy protein for your family.  (If you check out https://www.zayconfresh.com and are interested in ordering from them, my referral code is blessedafblog)  You could also use ground turkey or chicken, if red meat is not your scene.  Again, up to you.  Make this your chili.  Get your dutch oven on the stove on medium heat, add a tiny bit of oil or cooking spray, and toss in your chopped shallot.  Let that cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add in your minced garlic.  We are garlic fans, so I add 4.  Stir it all around, and now it’s time for the meat.

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Brown your meat with salt and pepper.  It makes a difference to add these while it’s cooking instead of afterwards.  I don’t know why, I am not a scientist, but it does.  Once it’s all cooked up, add the chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika.  Yes, smoked paprika, not regular.  If you haven’t already discovered the magic that is the smoked paprika, you’re welcome.  Get it at Costco where spices are super inexpensive and good quality.

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Now it’s time to add your beans, tomatoes, and diced roasted peppers.  I chose black beans, pinto beans, dark and light kidney beans.  Totally up to you here.  Rinse those beans well and add them to the meat.  I chose diced tomatoes with jalapeño peppers to add another element, but you can go plain too.  My family does not like to actually see the tomatoes.  Yes, they like the taste of them, but if they see even one chunk of tomato, they’re out.  Not into it.  Eating cheerios for dinner.  SO, I blend them up first with my immersion blender, another must have kitchen gadget for this girl.  If you have picky eaters, or like to make soup, or fun things like apple butter (https://blessedaf.blog/2017/11/05/snowy-saturday/) you also need one.  This is the one I have and I love it!  Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 200 Watt 2 Speed Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome

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Pro tip here, before you heat your oven, lower your oven racks to be able to fit the dutch oven.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees and put the chili in there for an hour.  Your house will smell SO GOOD!  And that’s it, give it an hour and dinner is READY!  We like to serve ours with chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese.  You could also add olives, jalapeños, or hot sauce.  What do you like on your chili??

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And here’s the recipe:

2 poblano peppers

2-4 cloves of garlic

1 shallot

2 pounds of ground beef

salt and pepper to your liking

1/2 T. chili powder

3/4 t. oregano

1/2 t. smoked paprika

4 cans of beans

2 cans of diced tomatoes with jalapeños

 

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