Adapted from the Syrah chapter of “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2010)
Here’s a hearty, full-flavored chili, brimming with big chunks of beef. Light on the chile powder and heavy with herbs, it makes a perfect match for sometimes-herbaceous Syrah.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch dice
- Four 15-ounce cans dark (red) kidney beans
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
- 1 cup Syrah, or other dry red wine
- One 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 3/4 cup store-bought or homemade mild tomato salsa
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef and onions are brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the beans, saving the juices. Add enough water to the juices to equal 4 cups of liquid. Set the beans and liquid aside separately.
Add the garlic, chili powder, salt, oregano, sage, coriander, cumin, and pepper to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of the pot. Stir in the tomatoes (with their juices) and liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce.
Taste the chili, ideally with your wine, and add more salt and/or pepper if you like. Serve hot, garnished with the salsa and sour cream.