Prime Rib Chili
What with Super Bowl just around the corner I got to thinking about my favorite game day foods. While pizza and wings (and beer) may be the first things people think of, chili is right up there. Who can resist a bowl of chili, topped with some sour cream and cheese? I know I can’t.
Seeing as I’m a Seattleite, I can’t help but be excited for the Seahawk’s second trip to the Super Bowl this coming Sunday. While ground beef is probably the most common meat found in chili, I thought something a little bit more special was in order, and the most logical thing seemed to be prime rib (because what else could be as decadent?). I was lucky enough to have about 2 pounds of leftover prime rib just screaming to be used, but if you don’t want to shell out the bucks, almost any cubed steak (or ground beef) would work as well. But really, the Super Bowl only happens once a year, so why not make it special?
What I love about this chili recipe (beyond cubes of tender prime rib) are the layers of flavor. You start with tasting savory tomato with an undertone of beer before ending with heat. This isn’t an alarmingly spicy chili, but it has a bit of a kick.
As far as ingredients, I used a spicy chili blend straight from New Mexico. I haven’t tested this with other chili powders, so use whatever you prefer. For the beer, I used an Amber Ale (from Hilliard’s, a Seattle brewery), but most ales should work. In fact, a lot of different beers would do well in this dish. I wouldn’t recommend a light, wheat beer as the flavors might get lost, but I would imagine most mid to dark ales (a brown ale perhaps) or even an IPA would work nicely (although I haven’t tried).
As far as the beans go, I’ve read a ton of different ways on how to cook them. Most recipes call for an overnight soak, and then instruct one to cook the beans separately. This method works perfectly, but I found cooking the beans in the chili also worked (although perhaps took longer). Lots of sources on the internet say the acid from the tomatoes prevent the beans from cooking, but I didn’t find that to be the case. In general, dried beans that have been in your kitchen cupboard or on the grocery store shelf for ages are harder to make tender (that is, they take longer), but newer dried beans are easier. If you’re worried about not fully cooking your beans, either cook separately or you could even use canned. That’s just my two cents on how to cook beans.
Prime Rib Chili
- 1 cup dried kidney beans (or beans of your choice)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, small dice
- 1 red pepper, small dice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic (from approximately 6-8 cloves of garlic)
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 12-ounce (or pint) bottle beer
- 2 pounds leftover prime rib, as much fat removed as possible, cut into 1/2 inch dice
The night before you make your chili, or at least 6 hours beforehand, place dry beans in a bowl with 4 cups of water, cover, and let sit at room temperature overnight.
Over medium heat, add olive oil to a large pot and let heat up. Once oil has heated, add in diced onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper, and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables have developed a bit of golden brown color. Add in tomato paste, mix well, and cook for 2 minutes.
Creating a well in the pot (by moving vegetable mixture to the sides, add in the garlic, cocoa, and spices. With direct contact on the pot surface, the spices should “toast,” which will help release their flavor. Cook for 1 minute.
Stir in beer, broth, and diced tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, drain and rinse soaked beans, add to chili mixture, reduce heat, and simmer for approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until beans have softened and reached desired texture.
Add in prime rib chunks and cook for 5-10 additional minutes. The goal isn’t to cook the prime rib any more (since it has already been cooked), but to heat through. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and perhaps a few dashes of hot sauce (optional).
(If using cubes of steak, sear separately and add in the final 15 minutes of cooking, if using ground beef, brown in pot along with onions and cook with chili mixture.)