Chili is such a versatile food, but it is never better than when it is adorning a lovely puff of Indian Fry Bread. Here is a chili recipe that has incredibly tender meat. It takes a while to make, but is worth the wait. If you donít have a crowd to feed, place the leftovers in freezer bags and freeze it for later meals.
Chili and Red Beans Recipe
3 pounds ground chuck
ľ cup of dried onions (You may use fresh, if you desire.)
Ĺ cup McCormick Chili Powder (or use your favorite)
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
4 cups of hot water
30 ounces of tomato juice
1 can of red beans, drained
3 cans of red beans with liquid
1 cup Jackís Salsa, optional (I buy this in the deli foods section at Costco.)
shredded cheese for topping, optional
Salt and pepper to taste.
In a large, heavy Dutch oven, brown off the ground chuck over high heat. Add the onions, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Stir the spices in and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the water, stir, and bring the food to a boil. Turn the heat down until the meat and spices are just simmering. Stir occasionally to make sure that the meat and spices are not sticking. Reduce the liquid until it is below the level of the meat. This reduction step can take up to an hour. Add the tomato juice. If you have leftover tomato juice, you can freeze it to use in soup. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tomato juice is reduced to a little thicker than you like your chili. Add the beans. The liquid from the beans contains salt, so I donít add any, but you might want to. Add the Jackís Salsa, if desired. Stir to mix.
If you are not serving this immediately, now is a good time to transfer it to a storage container, since the beans and salsa have cooled the chili. If you want to serve it immediately, heat it through. Stir it carefully, so that you donít break the beans apart.
Serve the chili on Indian Fry Bread. Sprinkle it with your choice of shredded cheese.
Fry Bread Recipe
2 cups white flour
Ĺ cup freshly ground whole wheat flour or substitute Ĺ whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons of powdered milk (optional)
2/3 to 1 cup water
Put the bread blade into the food processor. I use a Kitchen Aide. Add the white flour, wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and powdered milk, if used, to the bowl of the food processor. Turn it on. Slowly add the water through the funnel. Continue processing for a minute. Check to see if the amount of water is correct. It should have started pulling away from the sides. The dough should be somewhat firm, starting to look smooth and not terribly sticky. If it seems dry, add a tablespoon full of water and process for about 30 seconds. If it is too sticky add a tablespoon full of flour and process for about 30 seconds. Keep doing this until the dough is looking smooth and elastic. I processed mine for a total of 3 minutes. It was beautifully elastic and smooth. Be careful if you are not used to processing dough. You donít want to burn your food processorís motor out! Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes in the bowl. This will make it easier to shape.
If you choose not to use a food processor, use a large bowl. Mix the dry ingredients together. Then, add 2/3 cup of water and stir. If it is too dry, slowly continue adding water and stirring until it holds together and is easy to knead. It should not be really sticky, but again, it should not be stiff. Knead for about 15 minutes. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes in the bowl.
Now itís time to fry the Fry Bread
Before you start frying, get your plate ready for holding the cooked bread. Use a large heat resistant plate. Cover it with a good quality paper towel. I like Viva. Tear about 6 pieces of paper towel off and set them aside. Have a clean dish towel folded in half. You will use this plate to drain the oil off of the bread and to keep the bread warm until serving.
On a piece of lightly floured waxed paper, take a ball of dough thatís about two inches across and pat it flat. You can stretch it or roll it. I like to roll mine. Set the rolled dough aside, and roll another one. It helps to have a couple rolled in advance of the frying, since you donít want to have to turn your oil off to roll more. As you become more skilled, you develop a rhythm and you are able to roll and fry without feeling rushed.
I like to use an iron skillet for the frying. In a heavy skillet, add about one inch of oil. Heat until it is about 350 degrees. If you donít have a thermometer, drop a small piece of dough into the heated oil. It should bubble briskly.
Carefully add the bread, so that it doesnít splatter you. Press the bread down into the oil. It should cook 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. It will puff up. When it is brown on one side, gently turn it and cook the other side until it is golden brown. Remove the bread from the oil and put on the plate.
Cover the bread with a piece of paper towel and put the dish towel on top to hold the heat in. As you fry the bread, you remove the dish towel and layer the bread and paper towels. Donít forget to put the dish towel back on the bread pile after you add your latest Indian Fry Bread creation! You should have 10-12 pieces of fry bread. If you have somebody who needs to watch their carb count, you can make the bread smaller and cook it for less time. When you have a hearty eater in the house, make their pieces larger, and cook it for a longer time. Cook one piece at a time. It will take about half an hour, but it is well worth it!
People who attend a Pow-Wow, or Native American Gathering, come home talking about the fry bread. You donít have to wait for a Pow-Wow. You can make fry bread at home. This is a hearty meal that will feed a crowd. Itís tasty and sure to please!
When I mention products by brand name, these are the ones that I use. I have not received free products from the manufacturers, nor have I been paid to mention the products by name.