After having been focused on preparing healthy recipes I kind of needed a break. I was missing my favorite comfort foods, the baked goods, the one-pot dishes. So today I decided to blow off the vegetarian fare I had been making most often and decided to go all out with one of my favorite all-time meals: chili and buttermilk biscuits. Classy, I know.
I eased the guilt with a serving of fresh strawberries before and after. It took all my willpower, however, not to make a quick whipped cream for dipping.
A couple of disclaimers: This chili is ridiculously easy and certainly doesn't need a fancy slow cooker to prepare. Just your favorite ceramic or stock pot. The biscuits, on the other hand, aren't quite as beginner-friendly. You'll need a kitchen scale to weigh out the quantities properly. In order for certain recipes - like these biscuits - to bake up properly, you need the precision of measurement that only a scale would give you. Trust me; just get one. They're not expensive.
Serves: 8 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 onion, chopped 1-1/2 pounds ground sirloin 2 roma tomatoes, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 6-ounce can tomato paste 2 teaspoons white vinegar 1 cup beer 1/2 cup water
1. In a ceramic pot or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Add sirloin and let brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and garlic until the tomatoes are wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and tomato paste until well-combined.
2. Add vinegar, beer and water. Bring to a low boil then reduce to a simmer and cover until it tastes delicious, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. While the chili is simmering, make buttermilk biscuits!
Makes: 12 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 12 minutes
Ingredients: 10 ounces all-purpose flour 1/2 ounce granulated sugar 1/2 ounce baking soda 1/8 ounce kosher salt 3-1/2 ounces cold butter, cubed 7 ounces cold buttermilk (plus additional, if needed) 1/2 ounce melted butter
1. While the chili is simmering: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter until the butter is in pea-sized pieces, about 3 minutes.
2. Slowly add buttermilk, mixing gently with your hands. The dough should be moist and pliable, so you might need to add a few splashes more buttermilk. Be sure not to over-work the dough! This whole process should only take about 2 minutes.
3. Turn the dough out onto a clean, smooth work surface. Pat to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut 2-inch circles and place onto a parchment or silicon mat-lined baking sheet. For soft edges, line the biscuits right next to each other, so the edges are almost touching. For crustier edges, give about 1/4-inch space in between each biscuit. Brush the tops with melted butter. Bake in oven until lightly golden, about 12-14 minutes.
Serve all the food together and enjoy!
My Notes: What kind of beer do I use? Whatever you would drink with this meal. Likely, that would be pretty much anything except a stout. I used Arrogant Bastard for this recipe.
How do I make sure I don't over-mix the dough? When you're adding buttermilk, just gently work the dough with your hands until the moisture is incorporated. It should only take a minute or two. And yes, the dough will be lumpy and sticky. That'll ensure maximum crumbliness.