Short Rib Chili

short rib chili

Halloween has come and gone and we somehow forgot to schedule our annual late-October chili night potluck. I guess that’s what happens when life is no longer just about a fun night with friends, but is completely centered around your kids’ Halloween costumes, scouting out the best neighborhood for trick-or-treating, and making it out to the Pumpkin Patch before the moment passes. Check, check, and check. Chili night? No check. Bummer.

To cheer myself up, I decided we would have our very own little chili night, Purvis party of four, three, make that two. Allie’s still on the bottle and Kellan is boycotting food, so BJ and I were left to ourselves with a giant pot of chili. It’s ok though, because this was gooooooood chili. I started with a friend’s already awesome recipe and made some minor changes and one MAJOR addition. Short ribs. Yep. So now we’re talking a three-meat chili made with ground beef, bacon, and beer-braised short ribs. Holy. Cow. Literally.

three meat chili

Take out your calendar, phone, day planner, or if you’re like my husband, a sticky note, and plan a day to make this chili. You’re going to want to get this on the books ASAP. Pick a day when you have nothing else to do because you’re going to want to babysit this one. Low and slow wins the chili race. Add ingredients, taste, add more, cook more, taste again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Great chili is very much a personal preference, so I don’t want you  to limit yourself to my suggested measurements and time frames. Take these ingredients and methods and make them your own. If something sounds like too much heat to you, leave it out. If the idea of honey in your chili weirds you out, skip it. (Actually please don’t skip the honey, it really rounds the whole thing out. Unless you must. Sigh.) Let me know how your chili turns out, especially if you have a delicious addition that I absolutely MUST know about. Happy cooking!!

Short Rib Chili

For the short ribs:

3 lbs. beef short ribs
2 red onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
light Mexican beer
tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil

  1. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a large braiser or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear each side until brown, approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove the short ribs and add in onions and garlic. Cook until softened and beginning to brown.
  2. Add short ribs back to pan and pour in beer until the liquid comes a little over halfway up the sides of the meat. Bring to a boil and stir in oregano. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  3. Cook on low heat for 3 hours. After 3 hours remove the short ribs and pull the meat off the bone and shred. Try to keep the fat separate and discard.

For the chili:

1 lb. bacon
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
4 shallots, diced
2 cans El Pato Mexican tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chili powder, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon cumin, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder, plus more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
3 poblano peppers
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tablespoon honey
large can light Mexican beer

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Bake the bacon for 25 to 35 minutes, or until crispy. Finely chop.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallots and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add ground beef and cook until crumbled, browned and cooked through.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add bacon, El Pato, beans, spices, and half of the can of beer. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, set the oven to HIGH Broil. Spray the poblano peppers with cooking spray and put on a baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes or so per side, until skin is charred and blistering. When the entire pepper is charred, remove from the oven and place in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes. Next, remove blackened skins. Seed and finely chop.
  5. After 2 hours, add the poblano peppers, yellow mustard and honey. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If it needs tang, add more mustard. If it needs something to take some of the heat out, add more honey. If it needs thinning out, add more beer. Let your tastebuds be your guide.
  6. Lastly, add the short rib. Stir to combine and serve. You can top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, or cornbread croutons. Enjoy!

short rib chili

Bourbon Bacon Burger with Pimento Cheese

CAUTION: Things may appear fuzzy after eating this burger…or even after just looking at this burger. It’s the bourbon! …Only kidding. The camera played a mean joke on me and not one photo of this gorgeous burger came out in focus. My apologies! 🙂

 

I have two words for you– Bacon. Jam.

Make that three words– BOURBON. BACON. JAM.

Let’s pause for a moment to reflect…

BJ dreamed up this burger last weekend as we were in the mood for something out-of-the-ordinary and fun.

“Have you ever had bacon jam?” He asked from the kitchen.

I had, and he had too, he just didn’t remember. We had bacon “marmalade” atop a tiny mason jar of pimento cheese when we dined at Hugh Achenson‘s Empire State South in Atlanta. It was a scrumptious little appetizer, as anything served in a mini mason jar usually is. I reminded BJ of that date night almost a year ago now, and then these burgers happened. He was inspired and my mouth was watering in anticipation. BJ came up with every component of these Burgers- the bourbon bacon jam, the pimento cheese, and the pretzel bun between which it would all be nestled. I helped him carry it out by flying to the nearest grocery store during the kids’ naps, then coming home and furiously grating cheese, crisping bacon, and basically completing all of the prep work so he could throw it all together. The results were AHHH-MAZING!

Bourbon Bacon Jam needs to live in your refrigerator, perhaps in a cute little jar, for the duration. Yes, you will be tempted by it on a daily basis. Yes, it’s likely definitely not the healthiest condiment in the world. But man…it’s good. As Joey Tribbiani from FRIENDS would say,

“Bacon? Good!”

“Shallots? Good!”

“Brown sugar? Good!”

“Bourbon? Goooood!”

Slather it on a cracker, a biscuit, or some toast. Use it to add some oomph to your next grilled cheese, or maybe stir it into some polenta or grits. However you eat it, you’re going to be glad you know how to make it.

On a side note, this pimento cheese recipe is no slouch either. Inspired by the recipe from Husk in Charleston, SC, this little bit of goodness took me less than 5 minutes to prep and really hit the mark. The original recipe called for bourbon as well, but I wanted it to be kid-friendly and there was already enough bourbon in the bacon jam to go around. Feel free to keep it in there if that’s your fancy.

To pull all of these components together, don’t skimp on the pretzel bun if you can help it. We found ours at Whole Foods, but I’m sure some of the other higher end mainstream stores carry them as well. The bun was almost my favorite part, probably because I just thought it was so smart of my hubby to suggest it. We’ve had a lot of fun picking out special buns for our burgers lately. It really takes a ho-hum burger to a whole other level. Even if all you can find is King’s Hawaiian Buns, it makes a huge difference!

You’re going to love this burger! It’s a winner on every level and will undoubtedly be the star of your next cookout. I’m not going to put this burger on next week’s meal plan…I think it might be too much for a weeknight dinner. However, since the recipe is posted here you can make that call for yourself! 🙂 If you need help with other dinner ideas, meal plans and shopping lists there has never been a better time to subscribe. As part of a Ladies Night Out event happening in Orange County this week, I’m running a HUGE discount on annual memberships. New members get 80% off with the coupon code “ocladiesnightout”. That’s just ten bucks for an entire year! Crazy, I know. The code is good until August 1st. Happy cooking!

Bourbon Bacon Burger with Pimento Cheese (4-5 servings)

1.5 lbs. ground beef (I use 85% fat for juicy burgers)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
salt and pepper, to taste
canola oil, for brushing
butter lettuce, leaves separated
Bourbon Bacon Jam (recipe to follow)
Pimento Cheese (recipe to follow)

  1. Using your hands, gently mix beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt and pepper until just combined.
  2. Divide beef into 4 or 5 equal portions and shape into patties. I like to flatten mine out as much as possible and then press a small well into the center of each to keep them from turning into burger meatballs on the grill.
  3. Brush a small amount of canola oil on each side of the burger patty and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat and oil a grill to high heat. Once it’s screaming hot, lower the heat to medium and add the burgers. Close the grill. After 4-5 minutes, flip the burgers and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Check for desired doneness and move to a top rack to finish cooking if needed.
  5. Build the burgers by topping the bottom of the pretzel bun with the patty, some butter lettuce, 2 tablespoons (AT LEAST!!) of bourbon bacon jam, and 2 tablespooons (AT LEAST!!) of pimento cheese. Serve. Swoon.

bourbon bacon jam

Bourbon Bacon Jam

1.5 lbs. good bacon
1 cup of shallots, finely chopped
2 cups sweet onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup bourbon
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup brown sugar

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Lay a wire rack inside a sheet pan and line the rack with the bacon. You may have to do this in batches or use two pans.
  2. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is extra, extra crispy. Set aside and reserve a few tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once bacon has cooled, chop it up finely.
  4. Heat reserved bacon fat in a large skillet or sauté pan on medium heat. Add shallots and onion and cook until caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so longer.
  5. Carefully deglaze the pan with the bourbon, scraping up any bits that have formed along the bottom of the pan. Add the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika and chopped bacon. Continue to cook for about ten minutes or until the mixture starts thickening up and looks like jam.
  7. Drain any excess fat off and pour into jars. Store in the refrigerator. Can be served cold or warmed up in the microwave and slathered all over anything that looks like it needs a slathering. 🙂

 

Pimento Cheese

 

Pimento Cheese

3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup jarred sliced pimiento, rinsed and finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add all other ingredients and combine.
  2. Store in the refrigerator.

pimento cheese crackers

Kicked Up Beef Dip Sandwiches

beefdip

BJ hit another home run cooking dinner last night. He’s gotten REALLY good at choosing awesome recipes that pack a major flavor punch. I would argue that choosing a good recipe to prepare is an important key in being a good home cook. Not everyone has that ability. If you don’t choose a good recipe to follow the end result won’t be tasty no matter how well you foliow it. You can’t always trust every recipe you see, and some basic knowledge of flavors and combos that work well together will take you far in the kitchen. That’s where BJ is. He is a total amateur cook, but he knows what sounds good and he can follow directions. More often than not this translates into a successful dinner, which is exactly what we had last night.

The Food Network is almost always on the TV in our house. Especially right now. I’m not exactly watching it all day long or anything, but it’s our background noise. BJ’s grown pretty accustomed to it and even catches himself paying attention from time to time. That’s how he discovered this recipe and decided he wanted to give it a whirl. Ree Drummond calls them Drip Beef sandwiches but I’m not a fan of the “drip” part. Sounds kinda gross to me. So since this is my blog and I just totally gave her the credit for the yummy goodness, let’s call them Kicked Up Beef Dip sandwiches. They’re delicious and super easy to get on the table. Perfect for BJ. He seared a chuck roast and then cooked it low and slow for five hours in a Dutch Oven with beef stock, fresh rosemary and chopped pepperoncini, with their juice. Just four ingredients. Pretty amazing. He let them cook for five hours, then shredded the beef and piled it high in deli rolls. We didn’t top the sandwiches with caramelized onions like the recipe calls for, although I’m certain it would have taken it to a whole other level. These are so good you will definitely want to add them to your rotation. You can’t beat a four ingredient recipe that tastes like you spent a ton of time perfecting it. It absolutely hits the spot at the end of a busy day.

Enjoy!

Kicked Up Beef Dip Sandwiches

One 4-pound chuck roast
Salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
One 16-ounce jar chopped or sliced pepperoncini, juice and all
2 yellow onions, sliced
10 to 12 toasted, buttered deli rolls

  1. Sprinkle the chuck roast with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and the canola oil in a heavy pot over high heat. Sear both sides of the chuck roast until very browned, about 5 minutes in all. Pour in the beef broth and 1 cup water. Add the rosemary, and then pour in the pepperoncini with their juices. Now cover the pot and simmer until the meat is tender and falling apart, 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onions and sauté until light golden brown. Set aside.
  4. Remove the roast from the pot and shred the meat completely using two forks. Return the meat to the cooking liquid and keep warm. To serve, slice wedges out of the tops of the deli rolls. Heap a generous portion of meat on each roll, and then spoon some of the cooking liquid over the meat. Top with a few peppers from the pot and plenty of caramelized onions. Top the sandwiches with the wedges of roll and serve.

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Dadgum That’s Good…and Healthy!

photo copy 2

I recently had the great honor of having a recipe and bio published in my friend John McLemore’s cookbook, Dadgum That’s Good…and Healthy! John is the President and CEO of Masterbuilt Manufacturing, a company based in Columbus, GA that designs and builds grills, smokers, electric fryers, and more. I can speak from experience in saying that these products are AWESOME! I used the indoor turkey fryer when I cooked for the Purvis family beach trip this spring and had delicious results. I used to it to fry up homemade french fries that were so crispy and perfect they were gobbled up in about five minutes, and even replaced the frying oil with water the next night and prepared a low country boil that fed 20 adults. The versatility is amazing and the results are top notch every time. My next guilty pleasure will be purchasing the updated electric smoker. I can’t imagine an easier way to prepare a meal for a crowd that not only fills everyone’s belly, but leaves them wishing for more smokey goodness. Merry Christmas to me, BJ?

This cookbook is full of delicious recipes that are super tasty and yet waistline-friendly. Some of my favorites include Bobby Deen’s Grilled Corn with Pimento Cheese on page 45, the Thumbs-Up Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches on page 91, and the Piri Piri Chicken on page 151. Also, don’t forget to check out my spread on page 127. My recipes for Salsa Verde Skirt Steak and Grilled Green Bean Salad are absolutely worth checking out.

To snatch up your own copy of Dadgum That’s Good…and Healthy! click here.

Pita Burgers with In-N-Out Sauce

I’ve been wanting to put a big, juicy burger on the weekly meal plan for a while now and it finally happened this week. If I’m honest, I was imagining how delightful a photo of a burger would look on my Instagram feed more than I was actually wanting to eat a burger. As it happens, I am way more impressed by the quality of the burger than I am by the way the photos turned out. Go figure. It’s totally my mistake because in trying to keep my recipe weeknight-friendly, I used a pita to house my patty instead of the traditional hamburger bun. You may not know this…I didn’t…but pitas aren’t pretty to photograph. Live and learn.

Back to the burger. The patties themselves were simple. Ground chuck, salt, pepper and pinch of garlic salt. If you’re going to go big with the toppings, as I did, leave the beef alone so there aren’t too many competing flavors. You want the all around taste of the entire burger to be what you remember, not the overly seasoned beef. I cooked the patties diner-style on an electric griddle. For those of you who think a hamburger simply must be grilled, I’d love for you to give this method a shot. It gave them a really nice, crispy, brown crust.

The big flavor punch came in the toppings…plum tomatoes, butter lettuce, caramelized onions and my take on In-N-Out’s special sauce. You could (and probably should), add bacon to this burger to up the ante even more. You really can’t go wrong!

Pita Burgers with In N Out Sauce

For the burgers:

2 lbs. ground chuck
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil 4 pitas
2 plum tomatoes
butter lettuce
1 onion, thinly sliced
1⁄2 stick of unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce:

1 cup mayo
2/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. For the sauce, add the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper to a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and slowly cook to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a cast-­‐iron skillet or large heavy griddle pan over medium-­‐ high heat.
  4. Form chuck into 4 balls with your hands. Season balls with salt and pepper on all sides.
  5. Add the canola oil to the heated griddle. Place the burger balls on the griddle and sear for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Then, using a spatula, press the balls down, flattening them down as you spread them out. You want the patties to be about an 1⁄2 inch thick. Let the burger get a nice char on one side, and then flip so they get nice and crusty brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  6. Half pita bread so that they are half-­‐circle pockets. Spread sauce on both inside walls of pita. Be generous. Add patty, lettuce, tomato and caramelized onions to pocket. Serve remaining sauce on the side. (If your burgers are too large for one pita pocket, cut them in half and make 2 or reserve as leftovers.)