Sunday, February 05, 2006

Chuckwagon Chili in the Engine House

Today marks the first anniversary of 'Round the Chuckbox. After 252 posts, I've come around to my first recipe -- chuckwagon chili.

A rare Saturday board meeting of the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation led to Keith's suggestion that I bring my outdoor cooking equipment to the engine house and cook chili for the crew.

I cooked chuckwagon chili -- slightly revised from last year's recipe -- and cornbread inside the engine house for 10 board members and crew.


6 pounds round steak, coarsely ground
2 medium red onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced
3 cups beef broth
3 ounces chili powder
6 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 (7-ounce) can diced green chilies
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Hot pepper sauce, to taste

Brown meat in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Drain excess fat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeƱos and continue to cook until translucent. Add chili powder and cumin and cook over low heat for a minute or two.

Simmer over low heat 30-45 minutes using as little liquid as possible. Add beef stock only as necessary. Stir often. Add oregano, paprika, vinegar, remaining beef broth, green chilies, diced tomatoes and hot pepper sauce. Simmer 30-45 minutes. Stir often. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with fresh bread. Makes about 1 gallon or 12 (1-1/3 cup) servings. Traditional chili garnishes -- diced onions, grated sharp cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro -- compliment this dish well.