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Senator Danforth's chili

Senator Danforth's chili
Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

"Not only do I eat, I also am a Democrat," wrote Frank Sinatra in an intro to 1960's "Many Happy Returns: The Democrats' Cook Book, or How to Cook a G.O.P. Goose" (the sales of which helped buy TV air ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours and 40 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration | Serves 12
  • 3 1/2 pounds top round, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onions, about 2 medium
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (19-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained of juice
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans kidney or pinto beans
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, optional

Step 1In a large, heavy pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot. Add the meat and sear until the pieces are lightly browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the meat and their juices to a large bowl.

Step 2Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pot. Add the onion and garlic; saute until the onion is wilted but not browned. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cumin and red pepper flakes; mix well until the onions are coated. Add the beef broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and sugar, mixing well. Break up the tomatoes with a spoon.

Step 3Return the meat and its juices back to the pot. Stir to combine, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Uncover and continue to simmer for 40 to 50 minutes. Add the beans and remove from heat. Cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4To serve, bring slowly to a simmer and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Thicken with cornmeal as desired.

Note: Adapted from "How to Eat Like a Republican: Or, Hold the Mayo, Muffy -- I'm Feeling Miracle Whipped Tonight" by Susanne Grayson Townsend.


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