Texas City-Ranch Chili

Texas City-Ranch Chili

Texas-sized amount of flavor in this one pot meal that's great for large gatherings. Gluten-free, low-FODMAP, and dairy-free.

By DeliberateFare.com

Halloween at our City-Ranch is a friends, family, and neighbors affair. To feed the spooky masses, I rely on a Texas favorite, chili. The key to southern chili is to use lots of great vegetables (I add butternut squash to this recipe; it is a FODMAP, but with the serving size, it is fine in this recipe), fresh spices (check the expiration date of your spices before you add them to the sacred chili pot), and a variety of meats that can withstand a long and tempting cooking process. Our secret ingredient is cubed sirloin - trust me, it makes this chili award-winning.

The onions and garlic found in almost every chili recipe can be not so fab for those of us who are sensitive to these vegetables. Therefore, this recipe calls for Onion- or Garlic-Infused Oil.

Masa flour is very fine corn flour. In this recipe, it is used as a thickener instead of regular wheat flour. The brand I like is Maseca as it is naturally gluten-free.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp Infused Oil
  • 4 lbs meat (I typically use 2lbs grass-fed ground beef, 1lb ground pork, and 1lb grass-fed cubed sirloin)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
  • Two, 28 ounce cans diced or whole tomatoes (I use 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor)
  • One, 15-ounce can butternut squash puree (I use Farmer's Market)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 carrot (whole)
  • Seasoning blend (2 Tbsp chili powder, 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp cumin; divided)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ½ cup instant masa flour (Mexican corn flour; I use Maseca as it is naturally gluten-free; look for the white package in order to avoid gums)

METHOD

For Meat
  1. In large pot, add Infused Oil. Heat oil on stove top at medium-high heat until just glistening.
  2. Add to hot oil ground meat (beef and pork). Cook on medium-high heat until meat is cooked through and no longer pink. While cooking, gently break apart meat. Do not over-manipulate the meat.
  3. Turn off heat. In bowl lined with paper towels, drain meat. Grease will collect into towels. Spoon out meat into a separate bowl and set aside. Discard paper towles.
  4. Return pot to stove top on medium-high heat. Add to pot cubed sirloin. Add to meat 1 tsp Kosher salt. Brown meat on all sides on medium-high heat.
  5. Turn off heat. Place browned cubed meat onto plate and set aside.
  6. For Vegetables
  7. Into pot, add tomatoes and their juice, butternut squash puree, and diced bell pepper. If using organic carrots, do not peel the carrot (if using standard carrots, then peel it). Place carrot into pot.
  8. Heat vegetables on stove top at medium-high heat. Add to pot ½ of seasoning blend and one bay leaf. Stir well.
  9. Allow seasoned vegetables to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  10. For Chili
  11. Into pot with cooked vegetables, add all meat. Stir well.
  12. Allow chili to simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  13. In medium bowl, add water and masa flour. Mix well using fork. Pour masa liquid into chili and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  14. Taste chili. If it needs more spice, then add the remaining ½ of reserved spices and salt to taste. Break up any large tomatoes and carrot. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  15. Turn off stove top heat. Serve immediately or later…it is a forgiving entrée that does not have to be served right on time. Chill. Drink an adult beverage and chit chat.

SUGGESTIONS

  • Serve piping hot over a small handful of toasted corn chips (I use Fritos which are born and raised in Texas; interested in the Frito back-story, check out this NPR piece).
  • Chili is one of those dishes that improves in flavor if allowed to rest in refrigerator for 24-hours before eating. Of course, it is still delicious if consumed the day of cooking.
  • Chili is one of the best freezer meals ever. Freeze in freezer containers for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in refrigerator before reheating.
  • For even more fiber, add 1 cup Plain Red Beans (juices drained; you may also use beans from can or box). However, it must be noted that My Mr. Wonderful claims that true Texas chili is made without beans.
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