Friday, February 17, 2017

Emergency Chili!

While The Minx spends the better part of most weekends developing complex and imaginative recipes to share with our readers on this blog, I'm charged with the responsibility of concocting regular weekday dinner sustenance from whatever foodstuffs we have available in our refrigerator and pantry. Often my task is not unlike an episode of Food Network's Chopped in that I have to assess what random proteins, leftovers, and vegetables we have on hand and whip up an entree in under one hour. The job is always made easier if I have a go-to protein in the fridge like those handy pre-cooked chicken sausages that every grocery store seems to have nowadays, or a leftover chunk of steak from a restaurant meal. That's why, when we were contacted by Keystone Meats to try some of their canned meat products, we were intrigued. 

This can  makes you think of chili, too, right?
Keystone Meats is a fourth-generation, family-owned business in Lima, Ohio that produces canned meat products and soup bases. In addition to the shredded beef, Keystone also makes ground beef, plus shredded pork, chicken, and turkey. The beef is sourced from local farms and the finished product is simply beef and some sea salt in a can. It's tender and flaky as if you had slow-cooked a chunk of beef yourself and shredded it with a fork. The first thing The Minx and I thought of when we saw the can was chili.

We've all had those day when it's cold and damp and a bowl of hot, spicy chili would really warm your soul. The trouble is, a proper chili takes hours to prepare and you've just come home from work and want the chili now! The biggest obstacle to making a good pot of chili is the time it takes to cook the meat until it's tender and shreds easily. I've often used ground meat to make a quick chili, but it's not the same. With Keystone doing the hard part for you, an emergency bowl of chili is attainable. Using basic ingredients, I was able to put together a flavorful and hearty meal in about 45 minutes.

The Minx really loved it. She was astounded that the meat came from a can. It was tender and moist, like long-cooked pot roast or even short ribs. And it certainly did not taste like it came from a can.

Emergency Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
1 can (14.5 oz.) Keystone Beef
2 cloves garlic
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt to taste
Chopped scallions
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add diced green chiles, beef, and garlic and stir until all ingredients are integrated. Add diced tomatoes and stir. Sprinkle in seasonings and turn heat down to simmer. Allow the chili to simmer for as long as possible. Ten minutes would be good; 20 minutes would be better. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

Garnish to your liking with scallions, cilantro, cheese, and sour cream. Serve with cornbread.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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