Serving Up a Bowl of Hub Luv Chili
Today I'm cooking up a little "Hub Luv" chili in honor of fellow hubber Jenubouka. If you don't know her, you must go immediately to her profile page and follow her. In addition to being an awesome hubber and food writer, Jenubouka has worked as a professional chef and has been generous enough to post some of her amazing recipes here.
Jenubouka's recent Hub, Great Beef Recipes For The Frugal Family | How To Cook Cheap Cuts Of Beef, caught my eye. This Hub-of-the-Day-worthy entry provided excellent advice to families seeking more economical choices of meat at the butcher's counter. It included detailed information on cheap cuts of beef, advice on the best way to prepare them, and a couple of recipes to boot. As soon as I read the recipe for Braised Short Ribs, I knew I had to make it. In fact, my comment to the Hub was, "I'm sure I will be making this very soon."
That was Thursday. By Friday, I was at the grocery store hunting down beef short ribs, unsuccessfully, as it turns out. The butcher pointed me to something called "Country Style Ribs," which did not have bones. Jenubouka later explained that the cut comes from the same region of the animal, although without the bones the sauce would be less gelatinous. Bone or no bones, I grabbed a package of ribs and headed back to the kitchen to start cooking.
As Jenubouka cautions in her Hub, the best way to cook cheap beef cuts is low and slow. That means you will need to consider the time when making the recipe. In my case, I had the luxury of time because my husband was out of town on business, getting back late, and I wanted to surprise him with a fabulous dinner when he got home.
And the dinner was fabulous. The ribs were cooked to perfection. But what really made the meal was the sauce. The recipe calls for ground cinnamon and chocolate, which I had never used before in a beef recipe, but I found added layers of flavor that aren't even recognizable as cinnamon and chocolate.
Since I was cooking for two, I was left with a lot of sauce, despite my best efforts to consume as much as I could on the mashed potatoes I served on the side. Not wanting to see any of that savory goodness go to waste (and in the spirit of Jenubouka's frugal living theme), I decided to repurpose it in some way. My mind went immediately to chili. I know chili's been done with chocolate before, although I've never made it that way. So I decided to give it a try. And now I have a new killer chili recipe, thanks to Jenubouka. And to spread around the Hub Luv, I'm sharing it with all of you.
Beef Chili with Jenubouka's Chocolate Sauce
1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
4 cloves roasted garlic, minced (I happened to have some leftover roasted garlic that I used; substitute 2 cloves fresh garlic)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans, drained
2 cups Jenubouka's chocolate sauce (see link above for recipe)
Brown ground beef in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir for one minute. Add tomatoes with juices, beans, and chocolate sauce. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
Top with grated Colby-jack cheese (optional) and serve with corn bread.
Makes 4 servings.
Learn how to repurpose a culinary disaster into a delicious meal with When Bad Things Happen to Good Cooks: How to Fix a Bad Dish.