This recipe is brought to you by Nicole.
My diet is primarily vegetarian but when I get a craving for beef I listen to it. Yesterday was one of those days. I was also having a friend over who loves spicy food and is pretty health conscious. I’ve made this Tigua Indian “Bowl of Red” that I found in the New York Times in the past and have always been pleased. It calls for 5 tbsp of chili powder and uses eye of round beef (eye of round is very lean and also relatively inexpensive), so it fit the bill of being spicy and somewhat healthy.
The cook time is fairly lengthy but prep is a breeze. Probably best for a weekend night but if you don’t mind eating late it can be done after work. Let’s get the ingredients ready!
Two pounds of round cut into 1/2 inch cubes. I left the raw meat handling to my friend, look at those knife skills! I chopped one white onion and three cloves of garlic. I gathered all of the spices- 5 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano, 1 1/2 tsp cayenne. The recipe also calls for 1 tbsp cumin. I was out. I don’t know how this happened. Cumin is my favorite spice so I’m always buying it but I failed to last night, assuming I already had a ton at home. I know what’s at the top of my grocery list.
I started by sauteing the onion and garlic on medium heat until just soft, about five minutes. I increased the heat and added the beef. Once browned, I dumped in all the spices, one (15 oz) can of tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cup of water. I brought it to a boil and then reduced to a simmer for 1 hour and 20 minutes. At the end of the simmering I dissolved 2 tbsp masa harina in 1/2 cup warm water. I added the mixture to the chili and let it cook for an additional 5 minutes, the masa harina acts as a thickening agent and also adds a subtle toasted corn flavor.
I think this chili would be great served over rice or with a thick slice of sweet corn bread. But because my day had lacked vegetables I decided to go with my spicy slaw.
Half a head of cabbage goes a long way!
I make a version of this slaw quite often. It has a ton of flavor and works as a nice side to BBQ, tacos, and chili!. I opted to chop these ingredients for time’s sake but a julienne makes for an elegant looking slaw (if slaw can be elegant…). Half of a red onion, two carrots (these were grated), three green onions, half a bell pepper, half a cup cilantro, 2 jalapenos (I left the seeds in for added heat), and three sad radishes that I pulled from my garden too soon. I made an apple cider vinaigrette- the juice of one lime, 1 tbsp honey, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
I love how fresh and colorful this looks. A red bell pepper could be swapped for the green for even more variety. I really like that this salad can be dressed and then stored in the fridge for a couple of days. The cabbage holds up nicely and the flavors intensify. Time to eat.
I served my chili with a bunch of plain greek yogurt to counteract the heat. Not the prettiest picture but it was a really tasty dish. Next time, I’ll wait for a weekend to make this so that the chili can cook a little bit longer on lower heat. The beef was a little bit tough. I will also be purchasing cumin.