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brisket chili

All Photos: Ramona King

Low and Slow Brisket Chili


Make it fast or make it slow: Two ways to cook beef chili

For those of us who love to cook, there's nothing better than spending an entire Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, simmering sauces and baking cakes. But the reality is that those days of long-recipe luxury are few and far between. In Make it Fast or Make it Slow, we're bringing you two versions of the same dish: one that's quick and easy and one that's well, not so quick. Both are worthy of an addition to your repertoire, whether you're feeling ambitious or just hungry.

This week, we're cooking chili — beef chili, to be specific.

Quick and Easy Chili

Even though this chili recipe is, indeed, quick and easy, it certainly doesn't lack in the flavor department. Between the chopped poblano pepper, smoked chipotles in adobo, ground cumin and ground chili powder, it has spice in spades. A cup of beer and a can of tomatoes add acidity and a little hoppy punch, while a half cup of crushed tortilla chips lends body and a touch of earthy saltiness. Ground beef is, of course, the main focus of the dish, and it's cooked just long enough to tenderize without drying out. We call that a win-win-win-win-win.
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Brisket Chili

If you've got a few hours on hand, you'd be remiss not to try this intensely beefy brisket chili. To amp up the flavor we make a sauce from dried, pureed chiles, which add even more piquancy than ground chili powder alone. Over the course of three hours in the oven, the brisket slumps down into the chili mixture, turning almost as tender as pulled pork. Again here, beer and tomatoes bring much-needed acidity and a triple threat of condiments (cheddar, scallions and sour cream) to this rich stew, taking it truly over the top.
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Kate Williams is the former editor-in-chief of Southern Kitchen. She was also the on-air personality on our podcast, Sunday Supper. She's worked in food since 2009, including a two-year stint at America’s Test Kitchen. Kate has been a personal chef, recipe developer, the food editor at a hyperlocal news site in Berkeley and a freelance writer for publications such as Serious Eats, Anova Culinary, The Cook’s Cook and Berkeleyside. Kate is also an avid rock climber and occasionally dabbles in long-distance running. She makes a mean peach pie and likes her bourbon neat.