Monday, February 8, 2010

Pressure Cooker Chili

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pressure cooker chili
Most chili is made using a combination of ground beef, beans, and tomatoes. Since I am grossed out by the texture of ground beef, my chili usually is just a bunch of beans and tomatoes tossed into a pot and simmered with spices. Mr.Surly's brother told us about this chili recipe from Alton Brown that uses chunks of stew meat instead of ground beef and contains no beans. At first I was skeptical. How could chili have no beans? Could I tolerate chunks of beef in my chili? After one bite all my doubts were gone. This chili is awesome; it’s spicy and the meat is so tender you can cut it with a spoon. Trust me, you won't miss the beans in this, and like us, you'll be making it again and again. We use a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker we bought last year from Williams Sonoma. If you prefer a thinner chili consistency decrease the amount of tortilla chips and tomato paste.

Pressure Cooker Chili
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Serves 4

2 lbs stew meat (I use local grass fed stew meat from Whole Foods)
2 tsp peanut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer, preferably a medium ale (Red Seal Ale is a great one)
1 (16-ounce) container salsa (I use Pace Medium Picante Sauce)
50 tortilla chips (use thick, good quality ones, like Nana Cocina. We just throw in about 2 handfulls of chips, rather than counting them out)
2-3 chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, chopped
1 ½ tbl adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers in adobo)
2 tbl tomato paste
1 tbl chili powder
1 ½ tsp cumin

Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and toss with the peanut oil and salt. Set aside.

Heat pressure cooker on high heat until hot. Add the meat in 3 or 4 batches and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per batch. Once each batch is browned, place the meat in a clean large bowl.

Add the beer to the cooker to deglaze the pot, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the meat back to the pressure cooker along with the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine.

Lock the lid in place according to the manufacturer's instruction. Cook at low pressure for 25 minutes. Carefully release the steam. Serve immediately.

Source: slightly adapted from Alton Brown

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