Got some leftover brisket? Give it a whole new life as a chunky, hearty chili to gobble down right now, freeze for later, or both. If you don’t have any leftovers, you can still get in on the action: just toss some raw brisket into a slow-cooker with all the other ingredients and cook on low for about 8 hours. And in fact, it doesn’t even have to be brisket; you can throw in any other kind of leftover meat that’s lying around the fridge – chili is just fantastic like that.
The ancho chili powder in this recipe gives it a mild, slightly smoky heat – you can substitute chili powder, but the flavor will be a little different (depending on what kind of chilis went into your particular chili powder). And adding just a dash of balsamic vinegar at the end picks up the flavors and really adds depth to the recipe – it might be technically “leftovers,” but it doesn’t feel like something you have to eat just because it’s there.
This chili is already a delivery vehicle for a hefty pile of vegetables, but you’ll probably want a side dish to go with it anyway – why not try some spicy sweet potatoes (Bonus: dip the sweet potato wedges in your chili for extra flavor) or smoky roasted cauliflower with bacon? And if you don’t eat it all right away, just freeze individual servings for healthy, homemade convenience meals, so you can pull it out when you need something delicious and comforting, without a lot of fuss.
Brisket Chili Recipe
- 1 lb. leftover brisket, cut into small cubes;
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped;
- 1 green bell pepper, diced;
- 1 cup carrots, finely diced;
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced;
- 3 tbsp. ancho chile powder;
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano;
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin;
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper;
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes;
- 6 oz. tomato paste;
- Dash balsamic vinegar;
- Cooking fat;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
- Heat some cooking fat in a large saucepan placed over a medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes.
- Add the carrots and bell peppers and cook for another 6 minutes.
- Add the chile powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes and the tomato paste.
- Add the brisket cubes and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the brisket is tender and the sauce is flavorful, about 30 minutes.
- Season again to taste with salt and pepper, and add the vinegar.
- Serve warm.