Brisket Chili

After over a week of hiatus from food blogging, I finally managed to muster my brain to start writing again.  I have to confess, the reality of real life was catching up with me.  You see, I have been working in the Accounting department for three months now, but those three months were nothing, it was easy peasy.  These last few weeks were tough, I got involved in a bunch of training and end-of-the-month activities.  Systems had to be closed, then data had to be exported and analyzed, and then we had to figure out why things didn’t sum up to zero, and other stuff.  Basically I had to use my brain and I found out that when you used your brain too much, it starts to hurt!  Ha!  So that’s my excuse for not writing lately.

So have you heard about Brisket Chili before?  I never heard of it until Hubby mentioned it to me.  He saw an episode of the Barefoot Contessa, in which Ina was having Devon Fredericks cook Brisket Chili for her.  If Hubby hears or sees the word “brisket”, his eyes will get big and his ears will perk up.  So of course, this episode caught his attention and got him brisket-eager.

After looking at the recipe online, Hubby modified the recipe and adjusted it as he liked it.  Also, at this point, the Texan in him came out and he commented that “I took out the beans from the recipe, because it isn’t Chili if it has beans.”  The funny thing was, it was just a few nights ago we watched The Big Bang Theory – where Sheldon was eating Priya’s homemade chili and he also thinks that if it has beans in it, then it isn’t chili.

Below is the quotes I got from IMDB.  If you haven’t watched The Big Bang Theory, try to watch an episode.  You will get a chuckle.   Sheldon is really funny in his quirky, nerdy way…

“[Priya has made some homemade chili, albeit with beans, which is counter to the Texan definition of chili – Sheldon is Texan – and the fact is fodder for know-it-all Sheldon]
Priya: Would you like some homemade chili?
Sheldon Cooper: Are there beans in it?
Priya: Yes?
Sheldon Cooper: Then it’s not chili. Real chili has no beans in it, but you’re from a foreign land, so your ignorance is forgiven.
Priya: [Sheldon tries some of Priya’s chili]
Sheldon Cooper: Mmmm, this is good… whatever it is.”

So, in this Brisket Chili, we won’t have any beans.  In fact, any of Hubby’s chili never had beans in it.  Do you know that this chili and beans stuff gets debated a lot?  A guy named Ken Finlay even created a song of it.  This song even became a Chili anthem before a Chili cook off!

“If You Know Beans About Chili,
You Know That Chili Has No Beans
by Ken Finlay, singer, songwriter,
and owner of Cheatham Street Warehouse
(a music hall in San Marcos), written in 1976.

You burn some mesquite
And when the coals get hot
You bunk up some meat
And you throw it on a pot.
While some chile pods and garlic
And comino and stuff
Then you add a little salt
Till there’s just enough
You can throw in some onions
To make it smell good
You can even add tomatoes
If you feel like you should
But if you know beans about chili
You know that chili has no beans

If you know beans about chili
You know it didn’t come from Mexico
Chili was God’s gift to Texas
(Or maybe it came from down below)
And chili doesn’t go with macaroni
And dammed Yankee’s don’t go with chili queens;
And if you know beans about chili
You know that chili has no beans”

Too bad I couldn’t find an mp3 for the song… I would like to listen to it.  😀  So!  We’ll just have fresh tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, serano pepper and jalapeno pepper, for the fresh ingredients.  The other stuff?  Canned tomato sauce and canned tomato paste, but we ended up not using them at all.  Leftover coffee from that morning, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin.


And brisket of course.  The recipe only asked for plain brisket, but Hubby smoked the brisket the day before so we could have it for other meals as well.


As usual, I chopped up all the fresh veggies, roots, fruits, if you want to be politically correct…


For the tomatoes I just quartered them.


Then the chopped onion and garlic went into the pan to be sautéed with olive oil.


Once the onion started to get translucent, Hubby dumped in the chili and cumin powder into the pan.


Stirred them up until most of the onions were coated with the spices.


Then the greens got dumped into the pan as well.


Mixed them up…


Then the tomatoes were next…


Mixed them up as well, and then salt and pepper were added.


Cooked them for about a minute or two, and then they got dumped into the pot.


Then Hubby started to slice the brisket.  He used the point part of the brisket, the part that is usually fattier.  The other part, the flat, was just served for dinner the day before…


He cut it up into big chunks…


And he dumped it into the empty pan, just for a few minutes to get the meat starting to heat up, as well as absorb some of the seasoning left in the pan and to brown and render some of the brisket fat.  Then it all got dumped into the pot as well.


Now, this photo below is the brisket juice that I saved the night before and was put into the refrigerator overnight.   I was able to easily de-fat the juice by scooping the hardened fat on top.


Then I scooped a couple of spoonfuls of the juice into the pan…


Just enough to deglaze and loosen the bits at the bottom of the pan.  This got dumped into the pot, too.


Are you wondering how the inside the pot looked like at this time?


Then, the last step was to add the coffee into it.


After letting it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, the chili was ready.


I scooped it  up into a bowl…


Hubby served his with shredded cheese, fresh cut-up tomatoes, chopped up green onions, and a dollop of sour cream.


It was such a hearty meal that we would have thought we were going to heaven.  It wasn’t spicy, but after awhile, it did have an afterbite.  It was a lot of work, but anytime you have brisket leftovers, you can make this and have plenty of left over.  So what do you think?  Is your mouth watery?   Mine sure is!


Print recipe here.

Brisket Chili
Recipe adapted from Devon Fredericks, via Food Network

3 pounds beef brisket, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
6 cups tomatoes, chopped with their liquid
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup strong coffee

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until limp, but not brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the chili powder and cumin and saute for 1 minute.  Add the peppers, tomatoes with their juice, the  meat, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.  Taste and season with salt, to taste.  Add the coffee, cover the pot and simmer for 1 more hour.

Serve with:

Sour cream
Grated Cheddar
Diced tomato
Tortilla chips

This entry was posted in BBQ, Beef, Food, Tex-Mex and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Brisket Chili

  1. Olive Tree says:

    Maaaaak…I want to cook so badly, especially with recipe like this one.


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