Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chuck Roast Chili

So, work has taken a turn for the dramatic lately. That means I've been billing an awful lot of hours and using up pretty much all of my mental energy at the office. I work, I crossfit, I sleep, and I repeat. It's not so much a BAD life, it's just exhausting, and it doesn't leave me much creativity for ye olde blogge.

This weekend was a really busy one for two reasons - one, I turned 30 (!!!), and two, I threw my mother a bridal shower (!!!). PhillyGirl'sMom gets married in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to get together with our close female family members to celebrate.

The inspiration for my menu was this recipe for short rib chili that I spotted weeks ago on Cooking in Stilettos. I found the recipe a couple of days before I got my cow share, and I was sure I'd have something great in my 50-ish pound of beef to form the basis for a nice upscale chili.

I ended up taking a large (grassfed, super-delicious) chuck roast and slicing it into pieces, which I coated with kosher salt and pepper.

I browned them in batches in coconut oil in my brand-new, gorgeous orange Le Creuset dutch oven.

I also browned up - and forgot to take a picture of - an osso bucco style soup bone. After the meat was browned, I put it aside to rest while I cooked one and a half chopped Vidalia onions and a few cloves of crushed garlic in the drippings with a little more coconut oil.

After that, the hard work was done - it was a matter of dumping in fabulous blend of spices, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, and a beer, and adding the meat back in.

I brought it to a boil and then popped the entire thing in the oven, where it simmered for about two and a half or three hours at 325. Once it was ready, I pulled the meat out and shredded it with two forks before adding it back in and giving it a good stir.

THIS IS SO GOOD. The recipe is a combination of the Cooking in Stilettos adaptation of Giada di Laurentiis's recipe and The Clothes Make The Girl's chili recipe. Here's my final sketched out list - the measurements are definitely not exact, since I never measure anything when I make chili, but the proportions are on.

Amazing Paleo Chili:

- 3-4lb chuck roast, sliced into pieces
- Soup bone, osso bucco style, with shank meat
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Fat of choice (I used coconut oil)
- 1.5 Vidalia onions, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed, or 3~tablespoons of minced jarlic
- One 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- One 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- One 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- One can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- One 12-ounce beer
- Beef broth, as necessary to thin out to your taste

- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice, or 5-6 whole allspice berries
- Salt to taste

I love this combination of spices. The can of chipotle chiles gives this a nice kick, and the cinnamon and cocoa powder make it smooth and earthy. This makes a big pot of chili - for me, it served 12 as one of two entree options, with leftovers for a couple of days. In fact, I just finished the last of it tonight, garnished with full fat Fage Total, a handful or two of raw baby spinach, and crumbled bacon.

...so after I made chili, and after I went out with a bunch of friends to celebrate my birthday...

(god, i can't take a good picture...but the fabulous Kristastes does!)...and after I danced at Woody's until almost 2am...

I went to intro to oly on Sunday morning and, within the first 20 minutes, dumped an empty bar from the top of a snatch. Directly onto my right foot. Which was fine, at first, and then started to hurt about half an hour before class was over. And then started to hurt more once I got home. And then more.

Until I ended up spending my Sunday evening in the Penn ER, with a gimp foot and the Marriage Plot.

And then - miraculously out in two hours! - back home and on the couch with some ice. Verdict: bone contusion. Thankfully not broken, but I'm on crutches for a few days.

Needless to say, between the shower and the ER, I had no desire to cook. So I ended the weekend with my favorite takeout salad (Old Towne/Sanna's, right across the street. Lamb kebab salad...SO GOOD).

And that's my life. Last week, between work and running errands to get ready for the shower, I only made it to CFCC twice. This week, between work, my busted foot and the holiday, it's looking like more of the same. I'm starting to get super stir-crazy, not to mention feeling the stress a little more than usual without my normal outlet. I'm crossing my fingers that the stars align better so I can get to class tomorrow.

Hope everyone's doing well - oh, and MAKE THIS CHILI.

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