Monday, October 8, 2012

Argentine Chili with Chimichurri

I have been in a bit of a cooking rut, simply sticking to familiar recipes I know and love every week.  So, we tried a few new ones a few weeks ago and this one was truly delicious!  At first, I taste-tested the chili alone and it was just ok.  It needed a bit of time to blend the flavors.  After an hour or so, the chili was great.  However, with the addition of the chimichurri sauce, this recipe was out of this world!  

Argentine Chili with Chimichurri (Adapted from Rachael Ray's recipe)

Ingredients for Chili:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds lean ground sirloin
1/4 to 1/3 pound Spanish-style chorizo, casing removed and chopped or crumbled
1 onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 small jalapeño peppers (red preferred, but green will be fine)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 rounded tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
1 rounded tablespoon ground ancho chili powder or basic chili powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef stock

Ingredients for Chimichurri:
1 cup packed fresh herbs, coarsely chopped, including any mixture of: parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil or cilantro leaves (I used parsley, oregano and cilantro)
2 large shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
About 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Chili Directions:
Heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and the meat and brown until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chorizo for just a minute, then add the onions, garlic and chiles.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 5 to 6 minutes to soften the onions mixture.  Add the oregano, paprika, and chili powder. Once the seasonings have blended in the pot, add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the beef stock, lower the heat, and simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. This chili can be cooled and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal and reheated over medium-low heat with a little extra broth or water to reconstitute. The chili also freezes well.

Chimichurri Directions:
Place the garlic and shallots in the food processor and pulse quickly to finely dice.  Add herbs, salt and pepper, to taste, vinegar and oil in food processor bowl. Process until finely chopped but still a loose sauce. The sauce can be made fresh or refrigerated for a few days in airtight container.  I promise that it won't last long!  You can put this stuff on so many things and it's amazing!

Transfer the hot chili to serving bowls and topped with Chimichurri sauce. Another way to enjoy this recipe is in tacos.  I found that the chili was quite thick and a bit too spicy for 2 of my 3 kids, so we put the meat in tacos and topped them with shredded cheese. Delicious!  

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