Learning to Cook · Miss Mary · Recipes

March Madness Entertaining – Bring on the Heat!

2016 busted bracket

Just to start this post off, my March Madness bracket is #Busted, and I do not believe there are do-overs.

A few weeks ago we attended our annual Progressive Dinner party.  We divvy up the cooking for our casual evening and the theme of the evening was soup for the entree.  Nancy Arndt made her March Madness Chili.  Nancy’s boys were very sports oriented in basketball and most definitely in track.  So it was no surprise she named her chili March Madness chili.

This chili is not for the faint of heart.   The heat comes from La Costena Chipotles in adobo sauce.  We’re talking top-shelf pantry stuff here.  Chipotles in adobo are smoked and dried jalapenos re-hydrated and canned in a WICKED sauce.

2016 MM chili 4I misread Nancy’s instructions which said to puree the Chipotle and adobo, and then only add 2 Tablespoons.  Well there you go, I added the entire can.  No matter, my husband loves it.

2016 MM chili 32016 MM chili 2Be prepared to “mise en place” your sweet little heart out.  Having said that, the best way to do all your  prep is to have your knife really sharpened.  A long time ago I picked up the Wusthof handheld knife sharpener and it does a FANTASTIC job.  A sharp knife takes minutes off of your prep time.  There is a new knife in town and I had a chance to try it out at the Chicago Flower and Garden show.  It’s the Cutco Cheese knife.  They were suggesting you use it like the chef’s knife.  The demonstration made me a believer.  It’s on my list for Mother’s Day.

A little about the “Major Steak” or it’s also called a Bistro Steak.  We have a famous little butcher shop in the area called Butcher on the Block.  That’s where Nancy picked up the beef.  It’s perfectly proportioned for this chili afer you cut it up into small pieces.

2016 MM Chili12Nancy’s March Madness Chili  

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 pound “the Major Steak” (Bistro steak) cut into small chunks
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) each of black, pinto, great northern beans, all drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) chili beans intact
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Contadina pizza sauce
  • 1 can Campbell’s tomato soup (do not dilute)
  • Water and/or 15 oz. beef broth, as needed [I used 1/2 can of Beef broth]
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1-2 tsps. cumin and/or Italian seasoning, depending on the flavor you prefer
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 small can chopped jalapeños (more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons of a 7 oz can La Costena Chipotles with adobo sauce, pureed
  • Pinch of cayenne (more or less to taste)
  • 1 package Hormel thin-sliced pepperoni slices

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and minced garlic.  Cook until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add ground beef and steak; cook and stir until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add chopped green pepper and stir to soften, about 2 minutes.

Stir in can of black (and other) beans, the diced tomatoes with chilies, pizza sauce, and the tomato soup.  Add water or beef broth, if needed.  Then add chili powder, cumin and/or Italian seasoning, salt, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper.  Cook/simmer for 30 minutes.

2016 MM chili 6Add jalapeños to taste, pureed chipotles in adobo sauce and pepperoni, if desired.  Let simmer for a while, adding desired seasonings if needed.

Serve with shredded cheese of your choice if desired.

 

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