Chuck roast finally went on sale this week and not a moment to soon. We were down to the last half pound of hamburger in the freezer.
So I bought about 20 pounds of chuck roast for about $40 and spent a good couple hours chopping and grinding it up. I was able to get about 13 pounds of hamburger as well as a couple pounds worth of cubed steak and a small roast out of that.
The best part of butchering and grinding meat yourself is being able to control how much fat and the quality of the meat in the different types. The chuck I set aside as cubes came from the nicest sections of the roasts. The hamburger had the fattier bits added to it because you need some fat for making hamburgers or meatballs etc. Of course it still was ground chuck so the fat ratio was probably only 10 percent. The roast was saved from a nicest large part of the meat.
If I had bought it all separate, the cost would have been at least double what I paid.
Of course this post is about chili. With all this beautiful beef I had to whip up a pot of chili. I used some cubes cut up and some ground beef for the meat base. Then I soaked and cooked about three cups of mixed pintos and kidney beans. I chopped an onion, a few cloves of garlic and about five cayenne peppers up. Cilantro and a can of tomatoes rounded out the pot.
The nice thing about chili is it can be made from a lot of different things. A quick scan of the fridge and pantry almost always uncovers the necessary ingredients. Not to mention everyone likes their chili better the most.
Instead of a recipe I am just going to talk about some of the basic things I do to make chili. I always saute the onion and pepper in some oil before adding the meat to brown. Once the meat is browned I like to add some Worchestshire and hot sauces to scrape up the bits and season the meat. I also like to add all the other spices at that time too. I like the meat to be heavily seasoned before adding the beans, broth and tomatoes. Speaking of beans, I like to cook them separate first for about 1 ½ hours. This way they are still slightly hard and can finish cooking in with the chili. I like to season the beans with some spices and a little onion. When it comes to hot peppers I prefer fresh jalapenos but cayenne work pretty good. For an extra kick I like to add a dried habanero. Aside from that it is just slow cooking to thicken up the chili.
I like your approach. Especially cooking the beans first!!! That would make it a lot easier, and prevent the beans from becoming literal mush. I was making black beans for fajitas last week, and because my fiance was later than expected, the constant reheating (I kept thinking he’d be home, so i kept reheating on the stove) cased my black beans to look more like refried beans! So I’m all in flavor (yes i meant to type that as a joke) of cooking them first like that!
I have to admit. Jalapenos scare me a bit. I’ve used them before, but I don’t think I ever do it right. What are your thoughts on how to properly dice and handle them?
Jalapenos have never really worried me, I just wash my hands after cutting them and make sure not to touch my eyes or any other sensitive area for about an hour. If you are worried about it you could put a plastic bag over the hand holding the peppers while chopping. I also never seed the jalapeno or any hot pepper for that matter. Most of the heat is in the light colored rib and membrane holding the seeds in. I do use the bag trick when handling habaneros.
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