Steak and Two Bean Chili Soup

There will be no recipe for this chili.  Sorry, recipe lovers!  I will however try to break up this pretty simple recipe in to little sections that make sense.  If you have a family favorite recipe, there might be some ideas in here to spice it up a little!  I like to think of chili soup as a braised (or stewed) beef (I like chopped up stew cuts) with vegetables and beans used as a garnish.  And that’s how this version came to life.

For the meats, and chili is all about the meats for me, I like to make a dry mix of spices, sugar, and salt.  Here there’s allspice, cinnamon, peppercorns, raw sugar, and star anise.  I also made another powder from coriander, fennel seeds, salt, chili flakes, and celery seeds.

After you have the ground spices going, mix them together.  As a last touch I like to add some espresso powder.  Cut up the steak(s) in to bean-sized pieces and set this all aside.

Combine the dry mixture with the steak bits.  Get a big-ass pot hot with some oil in it, and start searing the meat.  As it cooks the liquid will release and combine with the dry rub to make a  saucy looking mixture.

Add some chicken stock now, to calm down the cooking process.  We essentially want to braise (or stew) the beef at this point.

In a separate small pot add some smoked meat (these are smoked turkey necks from Nebraska), some stock (I used some veal stock from More Than Gourmet) and enough water to cover the smoked meat.  Bring this to a gentle simmer and let it simmer until the following steps are finished (30-45 min).

Meanwhile, caramelize some chopped onions pretty hard (with high heat and a little oil), then turn down the heat and add coarse chopped garlic, and diced Fresno chilies (or others if you like).

Once the vegetables are soft, add a small can of tomato paste and cook out some of the moisture.  Whisk some chicken stock into the vegetables to loosen the tasty seared bits.  Then, transfer the contents to the main pot.

Here is a look at the chili with all the garnishes added.  There are black beans, kidney beans, vegetables, fire roasted tomatoes, smoked turkey stock, and lots of flavor.  Once everything has come together in the pot, I bring it all to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes before serving.

This soup was nice and chunky, like I like it.  There was a nice depth of flavors throughout, and pleasant (but not overpowering) heat.

It was such a great day for taking photos in the kitchen, I couldn’t help myself.  Here are a few more!  I hope you found something fun in this cooking slide-show.  As always, I’m happy to answer any questions about this dish or others you come across.

Be well, and eat well–

-Scotty

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