I can eat true comfort food all year round, but in the cooler months, there’s nothing more satisfying than something that has been cooked long and slow.
This recipe was invented when my now-husband told me he isn’t a big fan of ground meats. I love chili so I couldn’t take that out of my culinary repertoire and dinner options.
It’s an 80/20 cross between chili and a braised beef stew thanks to brisket instead of ground beef. The brisket is cubed and cooked just long enough to shred under spoon or tooth, but doesn’t fall apart entirely in the pot. With most of the other ingredients just a dump away, browning the brisket cubes is the most involved part.
What you need:
- 3 pounds brisket, cut into 1/2inch cubs
- 1 store bought, prechopped mirepoix (roughly 2 cups); or a small yellow or sweet onion, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Season cubed brisket with salt and paper. Brown brisket in batches without over crowding the pot, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer browned meat to a bowl. May take 5 batches to complete. Bottom of pot will also brown, as long as it doesn’t smell like it’s going from brown to burnt, you’re fine. If it seems too dry and starting to burn, add a touch more olive oil with next batch of raw meat.
- After meat is browned, lower the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of olive oil unless meat release an equivalent about of fat. Added mirepoix, cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Brown bottom should start to loosen and color the veggies. Add garlic and a teaspoon of salt. Cook until veggies are soft and garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- In small bowl, mix chili powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper and brown sugar together. Add to veggie mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add cans of tomatoes, liquid and all, and stir scraping up and incorporating the brown bits from the bottom of the pan if they haven’t loosened and melted in already.
- Return brisket to pot with any juices that collected in the bottom of the bowl and add beef stock, stirring to fully incorporate. Liquid should submerge everything, add water if necessary. Add bay leaf and lower heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour.
- Taste and adjust seasoning (salt or spice; if too spicy, add more sugar) if necessary. Add beans and cook an additional 45 minutes or until brisket is tender and easily shreds under tooth.
- Serve with cornbread or corn chips and an array of toppings: shredded cheese, onions, scallions, sour cream, avocado, cilantro leaves, etc.
- This makes a full pot, easily 6-8 large servings, and freezes well.
- To down size this, use 2 pounds of brisket, 1 can of tomatoes, mix spices as listed only incorporating 2/3 of mixture, and just enough broth to submerge everything to simmer. Cook full first hour, add beans (reduce quantity to personal preference) and cook at least another 30 minutes using shredability as a done-ness guide.