Beef Tenderloin Chili

Beef Tenderloin Chili
It is back to school week, and on one of the last few days of summer vacation with my daughters, the weather is windy and cloudy.  Curled up on the couch watching movies, we all decided that Chili for dinner with a side of cornbread sounded perfect.

I have several different chili recipes that I rotate.  Traditional chili with ground beef, chicken chili with white beans, etc.  But Beef Tenderloin Chili is a favorite because it really takes the dish to another level. The meat is so tender you can cut it with a fork, and it absorbs all of the flavors I have layered into the chili during the cooking process.  My secret ingredient is the addition of apple cider vinegar.  It makes the meat super tender and gives a slightly sweet background note to the acidity of the tomatoes and heat of the cayenne and red pepper flakes.  The other great thing about this chili, is that the cooking time is quick, as tenderloin is already a tender cut of meat, which makes this a great weeknight dinner.

Next time you are in the mood for good old fashioned comfort food try this recipe.

Beef Tenderloin Chili

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pounds beef tenderloin cut into large chunks
  • All purpose flour for dredging
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt (do not use garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can red kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can black beans

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven.

Carefully pat the beef with a paper towel to ensure that it is dry.

Working in batches, dredge the beef chunks in the flour, and then drop them into the hot oil.  Let the beef brown and caramelize on one side, and then turn them over to brown on the other side.  When the first batch is done, remove the meat with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate.  Repeat these step with the rest of the beef until all of the meat has been browned and then removed from the pan.

Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and jalapeno pepper to the pan and stir them together.

Let the vegetables cook until translucent and slightly tender (about 7 minutes).

Add the beef back into the pan with the vegetables and add the apple cider vinegar. Stir the meat and vegetables together making sure that you are loosening up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, cayenne and the red pepper flakes. Toss to coat the vegetables and meat.

Now add the plum tomatoes.  Squeeze the plum tomatoes through your hands to break them up a bit as you pour them in.

Drop in the beans and the bay leaf and bring everything to a simmer.

Cover and cook for one hour over medium low heat (stirring occasionally).

If you would like your chili to be thicker simply mix 2 tablespoons of masa flour (found in the baking aisle at your grocery store) with ¼ cup of water until a smooth paste forms, and pour into the chili.

Turn the heat up to medium and stir until the chili begins to bubble and thicken.

When ready to serve, spoon the chili into bowls and serve with sour cream, chives and shredded cheddar cheese.

The Elegant Occasion Note:  This chili will definitely be spicy.  If you prefer your chili less spicy, simply omit the jalapeno and the red pepper.


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