MoM March ‘09 – Best of America’s Test Kitchen: Chili Con Carne & Broiled Steak

No word yet from SlackerCitizen Chef on the MoM dishes he’s been cooking up, so I’m going to steal his thunder and give you a quick update on a couple more that I’ve tried from Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2009.

Best of America's Test Kitchen

Two more weeks of this publication and we’ll be moving on. If you have any suggestions about what magazine you’d like us to dive into next, drop us an email through the contact link or post below!

So let’s talk about some of the beef listed in the mag. As I’ve said in the past, I primarily work with chicken and the broiler scares the hell out of me, but for the sake of trying out new things, I went for it this time around. That’s how much I trust America’s Test Kitchen.

First up, I tried the Easy Chili Con Carne. This is more of a Tex-Mex dish — no beans, just meat and some sauce. I had never eaten a Tex-Mex chili before; my experiences were all with beans and ground beef and all kinds of diced vegetables in it. This was just a really simple tomato sauce that the beef had been simmering in for hours. Though I was compelled to keep eating it, I had a really hard time associating this with chili. I think that’s more my problem than the recipe though.

Basically, you just create a really simple sauce from tomatoes, chipotles in adobo, bacon (oooh yeah), onion, jalapenos and some spices, and you let boneless beef chuck-eye roast sit in it for a couple of hours.

Chuck Eye Roast

What you’re seeing in the photo is the recipe halved. It calls for 3 1/2 – 4 pounds of boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. I grabbed a piece that was about 2 pounds, and was a little dismayed at the price – it was about $6. Though the Test Kitchen prefers chuck because it’s more affordable than other cuts of beef, it’s still more expensive than chicken.

Chuck Eye Roast 2

The beef is cooked in some bacon fat, then removed from the pot. More bacon fat is added back in, and then the other ingredients are added – some spices along with the onion and jalapeno, and cooked until softened.

Sauteeing Vegetables in Bacon Fat

A pureed mixture of chipotle and diced tomatoes are also added in with some water, the beef goes back in, and everything simmers for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then an unexpected ingredient is added — a couple tablespoons of boxed corn muffin mix for a sweet, corn taste. Odd, but good. I used the rest of the mix to make corn muffins and served them on the side.

Easy Chili Con Carne

I’m really undecided as to how I felt about this chili, only because I am having a hard time associating it with the word “chili”. The taste was simple, light and smoky, but the beef… oh my God. Even if I had been undecided on the taste of the tomato broth, the texture of the beef was so addictive that I couldn’t stop eating it. If you like Texas Chili and you’re a fan of the beef taking the spotlight, then this is the chili for you.

Next up, I tried the broiled steaks. You know how much I hate the broiler and, coupled with my fear of making steak, it was quite an event.

Seasoning Steaks

The interesting thing about these steaks is that Test Kitchen chef loves the texture of the quintessential outdoor grilled steak, and endeavored to create a method of cooking them that would make the crisp edges just as good, if not better, than what is produced on the grill.

Success.

A disposable aluminum tray is used and salt is poured into the bottom to keep the grease from splattering. The steaks are then placed on a wire rack on top of the aluminum tray and baked. After a few minutes, they come out to be patted down dry, then they rest. Then they get the broiler and a bit of herbed butter.

I’ve never been able to make steaks better than this, and they came out beautifully. Everyone in the house was pleased, and you will be, too!

Broiled Steak with Herbed Butter

Okay, that last sentence was a little cheesy but you get the idea — these steaks are damn tasty! Bon appetit!

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One response to “MoM March ‘09 – Best of America’s Test Kitchen: Chili Con Carne & Broiled Steak

  1. That was definitely my favorite kind of chili. Regular chili is boring, but this has a different texture, better meat, and is great with the corn muffins.

    Like

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