Beef Short Rib ChiliIrresistible Beef Short Rib Chili
(This recipe is part of  the “Ultimate Comfort Food Experience“)

Football, Fall, and Homemade Chili

I think it is a national consensus that football, Fall, and Homemade Chili go hand in hand. And of course, you must throw a pan of crusty, golden cornbread in the mix to make it complete.

Beef Short Rib Chili

Friday Night High School Football Games

I grew up in a football family. Friday nights were spent at high school football games cheering my brothers on in the freezing cold. The weekends were reserved for college and pro teams which pre-occupied the one and only TV found in our house. So, I either had to grow to love football or find something else to amuse myself.

Then, of course when my two sons were young, they carried on the tradition and I spent many a night being their cheerleader because it’s what a mom does. I stood beaming with pride because those were my boys out there on the field. Every season, I could’ve purchased stock in hand and feet warmers as they were continually tucked into mitts and socks.

Married to a “Die Hard” Football Fan

From the moment I met my husband, it was obvious he was a die-hard football fan. Every Saturday I found him completely glued to the tube. When we were first married, OU was his team, to the chagrin of my brothers who were dyed-in-the-wool Oklahoma State Fans. We managed to work through the chasm, though, and they still consider us family to this day. When we moved to Nebraska he gradually began to wave the Nebraska Cornhuskers flag. That’s been his team ever since.

Beef Short Rib Chili

When he’s in, he’s ALL in. You have to understand, my husband is (normally) not an animated kind of guy. He’s not loud and boisterous. But watch out, anytime his game comes on, he morphs into this crazy madman of a fan. “Who is this fanatic sitting next to me?” was the question I asked myself every weekend. I’m not sure what happened to me, but somewhere over the years I’d lost my love for football and was no longer a “true blue” (or shall I say “red”) fan. I think it was because of the “fan” that sat beside me. (Sorry Eric, if you’re reading this. But it’s true.)

Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili

Becoming a Kansas City Chief’s Fan

Moving to Kansas City was a whole new adventure for us. We spent a lot of time looking for new things to do and decided that we would begin to follow the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a great time to become engaged because the Chiefs were on a roll and there was a lot of hubbub for the team around the city. We started watching their games at sports bars with other fans who were just as enthusiastic.

I Really Do Like Football

And then, I had a football epiphany – I really do like the game! When we watch the Chief’s there’s no hollering at the players. No throwing things when they fumble (okay I may be exaggerating a little) and no “down and out” depression at losing. Why, because the Cornhuskers were not the team playing.

So, here we are in football season again and I’m sitting next to my husband, not watching Nebraska, because they are having a really bad year (again). The Chief’s are doing pretty good, so it’s easy to be a happy-go-lucky devotee. If you add a bowl of Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili, well, then everything is wonderful in football land. Oh, I cannot forget to mention the pan of sweet homemade cornbread smothered in honey butter. This is a highlight of our Sundays.

Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili
Dried Chili Peppers instead of Chili Powder in the Spice Aisle

I gotta tell ya … I’ve been making homemade chili for years and thought I’ve always made a killer one at that. As long as I can remember though, I have used chili powder from the spice section in the grocery store. But this time I decided to be adventurous. And, let me tell you, I will probably never go back to my old ways.

Dried Ancho and California chiles are the mainstay of this recipe and believe it or not, coffee and chocolate are the secret ingredients. In all my days, I had never added beef short ribs in chili. I love this variation because it adds tender chunks of meat that just about melt in your mouth. Now, it is probably my favorite chili recipe of all time.

Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili

Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili

The complexity of flavors found in this Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili is phenomenal. It’s rich with depth and intensity. I promise, your palate with be fully satisfied from the first bite. It took a little more effort for me than normal chili but it was so worth it. I ended up drawing from a few different recipes that I found online. Check them out and you can decide for yourself – fromaway, seriouseats, and giada-de-laurentiis.

Beef Short Rib Chili

Sweet Cornbread is the Perfect Sidekick for this Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili

Cornbread is definitely the perfect sidekick to this dish and honey butter is what brings everything together. Whether to include sugar or not in cornbread – that’s the big controversy in the “cornbread world.” I have always leaned sweeter when I’m making it as a side dish with chili. There is something wonderful in how the variations of flavor compliment each other – sweet, spicy and savory. I think you will find this dish irresistible as well.

Print

Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili

Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili

The complexity of flavors in this chili is phenomenal. Dried Ancho and California chile peppers are the keys to its depth and intensity. Chocolate and Coffee, which are the secret ingredients, add to its richness. To top it off, it delivers tender chunks of meat that just about melt in your mouth.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 8-10 Whole Dried California or New Mexico Chiles, seeded and torn into pieces
  • 4 Whole Dried Ancho Chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 5 lbs Beef Short Ribs, silverskin removed and trimmed
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock, divided
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 2 Adobo Chipotle Peppers with 1 tablespoons of sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Ground Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons Ground Coriander
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground Coffee Beans
  • 1 1/2 oz coarsely chopped Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 1 large Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 3 fresh Jalapeño Peppers, sliced
  • 6 large Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican Oregano
  • 1 (28 oz) can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar (optional)

Instructions

  • Place dried chiles in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until they have darkened in color with a strong, roasted aroma, around 4-5 minutes. Watch closely so they do not smoke. Remove the chilies from the dutch oven and set aside.
  • Season generously the beef short ribs with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and add the olive oil. Cook the short ribs in batches, browning them on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside, continuing until all the short ribs are browned, 5-6 minutes per batch. Make sure not to add too many to the pan at one time. You want to have space between the pieces of meat while they are browning. Once all are done, transfer the remaining meat fat from the pan to a bowl and set aside for later use.
  • Return the heat to medium-high and add one cup of chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove all bits of meat. Reduce heat to low and add the toasted pieces of chilies to the broth. Simmer until chilies have softened and the liquid is reduced by 1/2, approximately 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the liquid, chiles, spices, tomato paste, coffee, and chocolate to a blender or a food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth, scraping the sides frequently.
  • Add the reserved meat fat left over from frying the short ribs back into the Dutch oven.  Add olive oil if needed for 4 tablespoons in the pan. Return the heat to medium-high, add the onions and jalepeños. Cook until the onions are soft, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes. Add garlic and oregano. Stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add the remainder of the chicken broth along with the chili puree, juices from the meat. Add the beef short ribs to the pot and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat falls off the bone. Tilt the pot and spoon off any grease. Pull out the short ribs with tongs. Remove and discard the bones.  Return the meat to the pot.
  • Add the kidney and black beans.
  • Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions. Serve with warm, sweet cornbread topped with honey butter.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 598
  • Sugar: 7 grams
  • Sodium: 789 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 61 g
  • Cholesterol: 3 mg
Print

Sweet Cornbread

Irresistible Beef Short Rib Chili

This cornbread has a touch of sweetness that enhances any savory soup dish. The crust is crisp and golden brown while the interior is soft and delicious.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Butter (for Skillet)
  • 1 1/2 cups Cornmeal
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 6 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 4 tablespoons shortening, melted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F. Heat a 9 or 10 inch large cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. Add butter and swirl until both bottom and sides of skillet are coated.
  • While skillet is heating, mix and sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs, milk, and shortening. Fold together only until the ingredients are combined.
  • Pour into the hot skillet and fill to about 3/4 of the pan. Return to the oven and bake until the center comes out clean with a toothpick, and the crust is nice and golden brown, about 40-50 minutes.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 370
  • Sugar: 25 g
  • Sodium: 442 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 62 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 42 mg