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Background info: Still a heated debate among Texans, the true origin of chili (also called chile con carne) remains something of a mystery, but most accounts agree that this spicy stew was a traditional meal for Indigenous Mexicans, particularly the Aztecs. While most modern chili recipes typically include beef (introduced to Mexico by Spanish colonizers), these Mesoamerican cultures added turkey, venison, and even lobster. Highly valued for their flavoring and vitamins and minerals, chile peppers acted as an important preservative.
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Prep: 30 minutes/ Cooking: 3 hours/ Yield: 6-8 servings
- 2 pounds trimmed boneless beef stew meat (round or chuck), cut into 2-inch cubes
- ½ teaspoon cracked or ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon finely ground unrefined sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil, divided
- 1 jumbo white or yellow onion, cut into l-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 1 sweet red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded, and diced
- 2 tablespoons salt-free chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle or 1 small dried jalapeno or red chili pepper, seeded and minced
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 4 heaping cups cubed, fresh red or low-acid gold tomatoes or salt-free canned tomatoes
- 3 (5-inch) strips kelp or kombu seaweed, cut into ½-inch squares (about ½ cup)
- 1 cup diced celery, optional
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves for garnish
- Ground black pepper for garnish, optional
- Pat meat dry with unbleached paper towel. Dust with pepper and sea salt if desired.
- Heat half the oil in a heavy 3-quart Dutch oven or large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Brown half the meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat with remaining meat. Set meat aside.
- Sauté onions in same pan until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle or red pepper, and garlic. Stir for 2 minutes; add kelp or kombu, tomatoes, celery if desired, and meat with any accumulated juices. Cover, bring to boil, and reduce heat. Slip a heat deflector (flame tamer) under pot if using a gas stove. Simmer for 2 to 2½ hours, until meat is fork tender.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls, garnish, and serve. Refrigerate leftovers and use within 3 days or freeze.
Omit kelp or kombu. Season stew with 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt or 2 tablespoons tamari.
Omit stew meat. Sauté vegetables and spices. Add ground beef, chicken, or turkey. Stir and simmer 45 to 50 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Reprinted with permission from The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz (Planetary Press, 2004).
Become a member and check out other Rachel Albert recipes:
Soothing Ginger, Squash & Apple Soup
Steak with Cumin and Mustard Rub
Roasted Onion, Sweet Pepper & Salad Greens with Spice-Rubbed Steak
Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health & Healing
Winter 2013-2014 | Volume 37, Number 4
Copyright © 2013 Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc.®
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