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Basic Chili 101

Chili Recipes from AlansKitchen.comIt uses a slow moist-heat cooking method and uses a pot with a tight-fitting lid. The beef should be completely covered in liquid. Use for less tender cuts. While any cut of beef can be stewed, this method is most appropriate for cooking tougher cuts such as cuts from the chuck or round.

Step by Step:

  • Slowly brown the cubed meat in a small amount of oil stirring to brown all sides. This step can be omitted but you will find that it imparts a great deal of flavor to your dish.
  • Pour off drippings and season as desired.
  • Add water or broth to cover.
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid.
  • Simmer on a low heat on the stovetop until meat is fork tender. (Simmer is to cook at a temperature just below a boil. Bubbles form around the edges of the pan and rise slowly to the surface.)

Tips

  • If your stew reaches a full boil, it will cause your meat to become tough instead of tenderizing it. Be sure you keep the stew to a simmer.
  • Vegetables should be added during the last half of cooking time.
  • To thicken your stew, use a mixture of flour or cornstarch and water or other liquid. The liquid should be cool and the mixture should be mixed well to dissolve any lumps. If using cornstarch, mixture should be 1 part cornstarch to 2 parts liquid. 
  • If using flour, the mixture should be 1 part flour to 4 parts liquid. This mixture is called a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the simmering stew while stirring continuously. 
  • A cornstarch slurry will thicken almost instantly while a flour slurry will take a few minutes of simmering to thicken. 
  • Start with a few tablespoons of the slurry and proceed with a little bit more at a time until the desired thickness is achieved.

 

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