Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cheesy Tator-Topped Chili

6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), corn oil or vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons (very red) chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
Pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bottle stout beer
1-1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
7 scallions, white parts finely sliced (use tender green parts for garnish)
1-1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 cups extra-sharp white cheddar, shredded

In a large pot, boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender.While the potatoes are coming up to a boil, pre-heat a deep skillet or wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and ground beef and crumble up the meat as it cooks, using the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher, for about 8 minutes, until brown and caramelized.Add the onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt and tomato paste to the meat and cook another 5 minutes. Add the beer and stock, and stir to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Season the chili with salt to your taste.Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain and return them back to the same pot. Place the potatoes back over the heat, shaking them around a bit to dry them out. Add the butter and the whites of the scallions to the potatoes, and sauté the scallions 1-2 minutes, until tender.
Remove the potatoes from the heat then add in the milk, egg yolks, salt and ground black pepper. Mash them up with the potatoes masher. Fold the cheese into the potatoes and allow it to melt.At this point the chili should be ready to be poured into a casserole dish and topped with the cheesy scallion potatoes. Place the chili tater-topped casserole into the oven and brown the top, about 2-3 minutes. Garnish with the reserved green scallion tops and serve.

Sasha and I saw this dish prepared on the Rachel Ray cooking show. She decided she wanted to make it for my birthday dinner. It was delicious! I had never had cummin before and had no idea what I was missing out on all these years. (The stores were out of ground cummin, so we processed the cummin seeds in the vita-mix.)


Linda said...

I am really embarassed! I cut and pasted this recipe and forgot about the beer ingredient! When she showed it on the show, she said you could substitute broth for the beer, which is what we did!