When we have a physically demanding job to do like branding, it’s all hands on deck. After hours of hard work, everyone is ready for a hearty afternoon lunch, and this is an ideal recipe for such occasions. You can leave out the beans if you prefer, or if you love them, add even more! Serve it as is, or put out a bunch of different toppings for everyone to create their own favorite chili bowl. And, of course, don’t forget to make cornbread, its perfect companion, to serve alongside.
Cowboy Chili – Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds ground beef, preferably chuck or sirloin
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- For Serving
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped green or red onions
- Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter
In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, bell peppers, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften and start to brown, about 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the beef, and cook, stirring, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Add all of the spices plus 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and stir until well combined and fragrant. Add the beans, tomatoes and their juices, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili is thick and rich, about 1 hour. (If it gets too thick, add a little more water.). Taste and season with more salt and pepper if you’d like.
Serve bowlfuls of chili topped with cheese, sour cream, and/or onions and the cornbread on the side.
Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Brian declared this the “BEST cornbread I’ve ever tasted,” and everyone always comments on its silkiness. It’s not your average cornbread! Baking and serving it in a cast-iron skillet makes it look great on the table, but you can also use a baking dish. Serve it with a big scoop of honey butter and enjoy every savory bite!
- For the honey butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons good-quality honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the cornbread
- •1 cup fine cornmeal
- •1 cup all-purpose flour
- •1/4 cup sugar
- •1 tablespoon baking powder
- •1 teaspoon kosher salt
- •1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
To make the honey butter, in a small bowl, use a fork to smash and stir together the butter, honey, and salt until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 8-inch square baking dish.
To make the cornbread, in a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking power, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving with the honey butter.
Dixie enjoying some chili too!