Texas Chili Meets Idaho Spud At The Bar

These states have more in common that their rouge majorities.  I make Texas Chili with an Idaho Baked Potato for dinner all the time.  My mom always made chili with beans, and used ground burger, not chuck steak.  Her recipe is similar but leans South of the border.  This recipe works best when you have 45 minutes for preparation and 2 hours for simmering.  You can make the chili a day or more in advance – it freezes well or lasts up to a week in the fridge.  This recipe serves about 10 with potatoes or 6 hearty bowls.
2 large chopped onions
1 stalk  chopped celery
3 cloves minced garlic
1 finely minced jalapeno
1 T vegetable oil
3 pounds boneless chuck roast cut in 1-2 inch chunks
2 tsp. dried whole oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
6 ounces of tomato paste
1/4 cup chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups of water
Make this recipe in a Dutch oven.
Brown meat in batches; set aside. Saute the onions and celery then the garlic and jalapeno.  When tender, add the spices and meat  then the tomatoes and paste and water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer for a an hour and a half to two hours.  Be sure to put your russets in the oven about an hour before serving so everything is ready at the same time.   This is a great anchor recipe for a casual dinner party because the timing is flexible.  You can create a potato bar, with all sorts of toppings using the Texas Chili and the baked potatoes as the starting point.  People like it because they can be choosy.  Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream, butter and chives, bacon bits, grated cheese, parmesan, steamed broccoli, cole slaw, etc.


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