Chili stew alá Claes


This is just a fantastic stew to cook in a cast iron pot and leave to simmer on the stove for hours, the cooking time is highly dependent on the amount of meat, size of the cubes and, last but not least, taste – some like it chewy while others want the ingredients cooked down to a homogenous stew.



Depending on the size of Your pot (mine is 5.5l or roughly 12 pints) You will be able to cook smaller or larger batches of this recipe, it´s just awesome to freeze in portion sizes so I recommend cooking quite a lot while at it!

Here´s what I used:

  • roughly 2.5kg/5lbs chuck roast
  • roughly 250g/0.5lb smoked pork belly
  • 2tbsp beef tallow
  • 2tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 2tbsp cinnamon
  • 2tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2tbsp dried rosemary
  • 4tbsp chipotle salsa (sugar free)
  • 1 whole dried chipotle chili
  • 1 whole dried anjo chili
  • 3 whole dried red chilis
  • water

Cut the meat into cubes, I like them about 1.5cm (3/5 inches) square – smaller cook faster and if You want Your stew more chewy You might want to double the size. The pork cubes should be just under half the size of the beef.

Melt the tallow in the pot and start browning the meat on high heat, it will release juices that stop the searing process so if You really want everything browned, You might need to do it in a pan a little at a time!

Add the spices (make sure to adjust the hot spices to Your taste buds) when the juices started to boil and add water slowly to not cool the stew down, You want enough fluid to cover the meat for the first hours of cooking so You might just have to top it up now and then. During these first hours You really only need to check the fluid level and let the stew simmer by itself, just stir a few times every hour and it´s great!

As soon as the meat starts to be more tender it´s time to let the stew thicken, my personal preference is to let this happen naturally, without the use of thickeners. I just stop adding fluid and the stew boils down to the desired texture.
Now we really have to watch it more closely – as the amount of fluid is reduced, the probability of burning the stew increases! So keep an eye on it and stir often!


Finally it´s time to eat and this dish is perfect for pre-cooking and warm up when needed. If You eat dairy it´s awesome with some creme fraiche, sour cream or high fat yoghurt – for those who don´t , just throw in some sliced and diced cucumber or other cool veggie if the chili gets to You!

Give it a try and let me know what You think, ok?

Peace // Claes



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