I love my dutch oven, and I’m finding new ways to use it all the time. We were in the mood for chili — one of my very favorite dishes (with loads of tomatoes and beans) before we went low carb, then started shooting for as close to no carb as possible. So Texas style chili was the obvious adaptation…but I have to confess that I did miss the tomatoes and beans!
Then I read a few recipes online for making the chili in the oven instead of on the stovetop, and this was my first try doing it that way. It turned out to be a delicious, tender, melt-in-your-mouth meal, and a definite keeper for the future.
I started off by browning about a pound of ground beef in the dutch oven over medium high heat, then spooned it out to drain off the excess fat. Using the fat that remained in the pan, I toasted my seasonings (chili powder, ground ancho chili, garlic, onion powder, freshly ground pepper) lightly, then added the meat back in along with two cups of water. I got it simmering, then stirred in a teaspoon of beef soup base.
Then it was lid on and into a preheated 275 degree oven. I let it go for about two hours, but you really have a lot of play as far as the time goes. Be sure to check occasionally and add a little boiling water as necessary where the liquid had cooked off — I added some a couple of times.
I served with a generous dollop of sour cream (’cause that’s how I roll), and would have sprinkled with a bit of shredded colby jack cheese if we hadn’t eaten it all up before chili day!