Chili with Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits

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I'm giving you a break from all the sweetness of the wedding cakes to tell you about my dinner last night.  A few weeks ago the Smitten Kitchen  posted this recipe from an old issue of Gourmet.  I happened to have some leftover ground beef from where I made homemade pizza, and gave Drew a multiple choice question on what he wanted me to do with it.  From the several options I rattled off, he chose chili, and I knew the one Smitten Kitchen posted was what I wanted to try.  I don't actually have my own chili recipe yet, and I loved the idea of the biscuits with chili!  It's a little different, and the fact that all the normal toppings for chili are in the biscuit itself is a fun idea.

So, I made the chili and biscuits last night and we ate them, and it was a pretty big success.  The biscuits were, in fact, the first successful biscuits I've made yet.  I tweaked the chili from its original recipe to suit our own tastes more, and came up with a very-close-to-my-ideal recipe.  Just a little more tweaking and I am there. 

I actually made the chili on Tuesday night because chili is one of those dishes that get better the longer you allow the flavors to blend.  On Tuesday we determined that it was a little too meaty for us, or rather, that the meat to bean ratio was too high.  So, I soaked some kidney beans overnight and cooked them in the morning before we went to work to add to the chili that afternoon.  I also added some canned tomatoes because we thought that was missing, too.  After readjusting the seasoning, this is pretty good chili.

Below I will be posting the chili as I made it/will make it again.  If you want to see the original recipe, you can click here

1- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic (about 1 Tb), minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tb. cumin
2 Tb. paprika
1 Tb. crumbled dried oregano
Dash red pepper flakes (or more or less, depending on your tastes)
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 Tb. cider vinegar
6 cans kidney beans (or 1 lb dried beans, soaked and cooked), drained and rinsed
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 cans total diced or stewed tomatoes, 1 can drained of its juice

In a large (6 qt. or larger) pot over medium-low heat, pour in the oil and add the onions, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir, cooking one more minute.  Add the beef and cook it, breaking up clumps.  Once the beef is browned, drain any fat and return the pot to the burner.  Add the spices and cook for about another minute.  Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, beef broth, and vinegar and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.  Remove the cover, add the beans and the bell peppers and simmer, uncovered, until the peppers are tender. 

Serve with the biscuits and enjoy!

Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar, grated coarse (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 Tb. pickled jalapeño slices, minced
1 cup sour cream

Into a bowl stir together the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt; add the butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cheddar and the chiles, add the sour cream, and stir the mixture until it just forms a soft but not sticky dough. Knead the dough gently 6 times on a lightly floured surface, roll or pat it out 1/2 inch thick, and with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter cut out about 9 rounds. Bake the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 425°F. oven for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they are golden.

  • My biscuit dough was very sticky.  I never really figured out why that would be, but I coated it in flour so that sticking would be minimal on my counter.  They still turned out great.  Again, sorry for not having pictures of the biscuit process- it's impossible to take photos while your hands are coated in biscuit dough. 
  • I only tweaked about half the batch of chili, because after I made it Tuesday night, I immediately put about half into freezer containers and into the freezer for a later meal.  I estimated the bean amount pretty closely, but you might want to add some more tomatoes. 
  • I made the chili this first time with two thinly sliced carrots, as the original recipe indicated.  While  not bad, the carrots didn't add anything to the chili, so we won't include them next time.  That's why you see the carrot in the picture but not the recipe.
  • Has anyone used tomato paste in chili?  What do you think?  I was thinking maybe if I added it with the spices....

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