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Grassfed Chili with Browned Butter Cornbread

Looking for the perfect bowl of Texas chili? Look no further – we've got you covered. A seriously LARGE batch of meaty, delicious goodness awaits. Serving 12 hungry adults, this recipe is ideal for game day gatherings, parties, family get togethers, or lots of leftovers (it freezes incredibly well, too). Packing 4 lbs. of gorgeous grassfed & pasture raised meat, including tender stew meat that shreds without effort after an all-day cook... this chili is hearty as they come. There's a few cooking methods available here – smoker, crockpot, or oven. Choose your own adventure, if you will! This chili cooks for 8 hours, so plan for about an hour of morning prep & initial cook time for the onions, chiles, and meat...then everything gets dumped into a very large Dutch oven or crockpot for the low n' slow ride.

Can't have chili without cornbread, right? Start with browned butter in a cast iron skillet and you can't lose. The nutty, rich flavor of the browned butter adds a delicious depth that'll make this your new favorite cornbread recipe. Adding the batter to a hot, buttery skillet guarantees a crisp, golden crust that simply can't be achieved with other methods. 

Serve chili with your favorite toppings for the perfect, cozy Fall meal. If you'd like to make this in advance, chili is always better on the second day... so feel free to make ahead and reheat slowly. Let's get cooking!

Serves 12*

INGREDIENTS

For the Chili –

  • 2 lb. 1915 Farm Grassfed Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. 1915 Farm Pasture Raised Breakfast Sausage (or Italian Sausage)
  • 1 lb. 1915 Farm Grassfed Stew Meat (or Chuck Roast, cut into cubes)
  • 3 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, minced or crushed with garlic press (alternatively, 3 Tbsp of jarred ready to use minced garlic)
  • 3 28oz. cans of crushed tomatoes (make sure they're crushed, diced are too chunky for this)
  • 1 7oz .can of chipotles in adobo sauce, diced. Reserve the liquid to add as well.
  • 1 beer (or 12 oz. broth, but note that the alcohol in the beer will cook out)
  • Chili Seasoning (recipe below)
  • Toppings of choice (we recommend freshly grated sharp cheddar, sour cream, finely diced red onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime wedges)

Chili Seasoning –

  • 2 Tbsp Ancho Chile powder (not to be confused with chili powder, which is a blend of spices)
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (adds incredible depth, won't taste like chocolate ;)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional, more if you like it spicy
  • Kosher salt to taste (I salt in layers as I cook, which builds flavor)
  • Special Equipment: a large skillet, cast iron preferably, and a very large Dutch oven (7qt). or large crock pot

For the Cornbread – 

  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) sour cream
  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Chili Seasoning – 

In a small bowl, mix all spices together and reserve until ready to use. Alternatively, mix up a large batch of this and store in your pantry in a glass jar. This recipe uses the entire spice quantity.

For the Chili  – 

Place the largest skillet you have over medium heat (I used a 15 inch skillet but a 12 inch would work too). Place your large Dutch oven or Crockpot nearby for transferring ingredients to as they are cooked in batches.

Once skillet is hot, add a nice splash of olive oil and let it heat up. Add diced onions and a few pinches of kosher salt. It's important to salt in layers to not only help the vegetables release their liquid and result in better browning/caramelization, but also to build more complex flavor. 

When onions are starting to turn very light brown, add minced garlic, diced chipotle chiles, and the adobo sauce they came in. Don't worry if things smell spicy at this stage, the finished product is quite mild (unless you add more cayenne to your chili seasoning). Continue to sauté onions and chiles until caramelized to a medium brown. Transfer onions to large Dutch oven or crockpot.

Add a little more olive oil to the skillet, followed by the stew meat/chuck roast, and a couple pinches of kosher salt. Sear without moving for a few minutes, then toss and continue to cook until meat is browned on all sides. Remove stew meat to the large Dutch oven or crockpot.

Next, add the breakfast sausage, cook until mostly done, and transfer to large Dutch oven or crockpot. 

Finally, brown the ground beef with a few pinches of kosher salt. Add to large Dutch oven or crockpot. The skillet's work is done now, so feel free to move it aside.

To the large Dutch oven or crockpot, add crushed tomatoes, followed by a few large pinches of kosher salt. Next, add the beer and the chili seasoning. Stir very well to combine. 

Cook the Chili – 

Crockpot/Slow Cooker: Cook on low for 8 hours, or until stew meat easily shreds with a fork. Stir periodically throughout the day.

Smoker/Pellet Grill: 250° for 6-8 hours. Smoke uncovered for the first 6 hours, adding the lid for last 2 hours. Stir hourly if you can, though with the low temperature, you won't have any issues with burning on the bottom.

Oven: Cook at 300° for 6-8 hours, until stew meat easily shreds with a fork. Stir periodically. 

For the Cornbread – 

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place butter in a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet (a large 9x13 cast iron pan works excellent too). Place skillet into the oven and heat until the butter is melted and well browned, 10 to 20 minutes (keep a close eye on it once it's melted...look for the milk solids/white dots to turn brown and smell nutty).

Pour browned butter into a glass bowl or measuring cup, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Swish around to make sure the butter coats the sides of the skillet as well.

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a second medium bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, and buttermilk in a second bowl and whisk well.

Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in browned butter into wet ingredients. Then, make a well in the middle of the cornmeal mixture and whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined, switching to a rubber spatula if needed.

Remove skillet from the oven and swirl to coat all surfaces with melted butter. Spoon batter into skillet, smooth top lightly, then carefully transfer to oven (remember, the skillet will be quite hot). Bake until light golden brown on top and a knife inserted into cornbread comes out with no crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving, with butter (and honey, if you'd like) on top.

To Serve –  

Ladle chili into bowls, top with freshly grated sharp cheddar, sour cream, finely diced red onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and plenty of lime wedges to pass at the table. Don't forget the warm, buttered cornbread – enjoy!

*You can easily halve the recipe for a smaller serving size, just use half of the chili seasoning and save the rest for your next batch. 

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you’d like to share your delicious dish on Instagram, don’t forget to tag us @1915_Farm

P.S. If you love our delicious grassfed beef and pasture raised pork – consider subscribing to the Grassroots Meat Club (ships free in TX, reduced in other states). Each Grassroots Meat Club box includes a variety of hand-selected grassfed and pasture raised meats, such as chicken breasts, chicken tenders, leg quarters, wings, thighs, drumsticks, whole chicken, ground beef, kabobs, stew meat, stir fry, cutlets, London broil (top round), beef roasts, beef ossobuco, short ribs, various sausages, pork roasts, pork chops, bacon, ground pork, fajita meat, country style ribs, spare ribs, and bacon!

 

Chili Recipe adapted from Meat Church

Cornbread Recipe by Serious Eats

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