(Yield 4-6 servings)
(soon to be published in Heat Magazine!)
Back home there was a restaurant called Champion Jacks that had just about the best chili I had ever tasted. It was real cowboy food-no beans about it—strictly meat, heat, and the garnishes of your choice, my favorites always being grated cheddar, raw finely diced onion, and jalapeno slices. Well here is the closest to home I’ve gotten in a bowl, enjoy.
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef round cubes
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large onions, quartered and divided, ¾ medium dice, ¼ finely diced and reserved for garnish
splash of red wine or beer (basically whatever you are drinking)—about ¼ cup
4 cups beef stock
1 cup salsa verde
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup stewed tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, pressed
4 dried chile negros
3 small bay leaves
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne
1/2 cup chopped jalapenos
1/4 cup finely diced raw onion
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup jalapeno slices
In a large cast iron pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Season beef generously with salt and pepper and sear in the heated pot. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding and cook about 2-3 minutes per side adding olive oil as needed between batches. Once beef is fully seared, remove from pan and reserve in a medium sized bowl.
Next, deglaze the pan with wine, scraping up any browned pieces then add in your medium diced onion and cook until almost no liquid is remaining. Add in beef stock, salsa verde, tomato sauce, and stewed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer and add in pressed garlic cloves, chile negros, bay leaves, cumin, and cayenne. Return beef to pan and simmer covered for 1 hour. Check pot consistently to make sure contents are not boiling too heavily—if they are, crack the lid of the pot until it returns to a simmer. After 1 hour, add chopped jalapenos and finish cooking for 1 ½ hours.
Remove chile negro pods and bay leaves and discard. Take beef from pan with a slotted spoon, shred with a fork, and return to the pan. Serve Texas chili warm with garnishes.