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

Balsamic Mushroom and Leek Penne Pasta

Balsamic Mushroom and Leek Penne Pasta

Yay for Fall!!! Cooler weather, cuter outfits, and a wonderful excuse to start eating heartier dinners. I was all about the salad this summer, and honestly, I’ve been eating the Chopped Thai Salad at least 3 nights a week since I posted it on the blog. It was too hot to really cook this summer and I credit this salad with helping me bounce back to pre-baby weight. Yippee! But now it’s Fall and I’m my normal self, so I can start cooking and eating like my normal self. That means one word. Pasta. I’ve said it before, but pasta is without question my favorite thing to cook and eat. It’s so much more than spaghetti and meatballs. Pasta is a blank canvas for whatever you’re in the mood for. It can be light, rich, loaded with veggies, loaded with cheese, full of protein or completely meatless. It’s basically the best. I love that you can easily find whole-wheat AND gluten-free pastas in your regular grocery store, so it’s not too difficult to amp up the health factor when you want to. I really love whole-wheat pasta. It’s rich and nutty and holds up really well against bold flavors, and this Balsamic Mushroom and Leek Penne is a great example of that.

There are a lot of bold, fall flavors in this pasta. Mushrooms are a quintessential fall ingredient. I love their earthiness and the perfect umami they bring to things. Balsamic vinegar, heavy cream and parmesan cheese melt into an unbelievable sauce that soaks into the ridges of the penne pasta. Throw in some butter-caramlized leeks and shallots and you have yourself a delicious plate of autumnal comfort. If you’re anything like me, you’re breaking out the fall decor this weekend.  This pasta would go great with that! Grab yourself a pumpkin spice latte in the morning, grab a few pumpkins at the farmer’s market, plant some mums in the front yard, take a stroll through a park showcasing the changing leaves, burn a cinnamon candle or twelve, and whip this up as the finale. That sounds like one pretty amazing day to me. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

Happy fall y’all! …And happy cooking!

bite-of-pasta

Balsamic Mushroom and Leek Penne Pasta

16 oz. whole wheat penne pasta (can use regular if you prefer)
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 leek, trimmed, washed and sliced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Reserve.
2. Heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat until butter is melted. Add leeks and shallot and sauté until beginning to caramelize, about 4 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, about 4 more minutes.
4. To the mushroom mixture, add balsamic vinegar and heavy cream. Stir until combine and simmer over low heat as it thickens, about 2 minutes.
5. Toss in parmesan cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley.
6. Serve.

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