This chili cheesesteak stew is certainly not a complicated nor avant-garde recipe, by any means; it's just warming, comforting, delicious, and a little “kitschy”, and that's the fun of it!
“Chili Cheesesteak Stew”, Try Saying That Five Times Fast!
Sometimes the silliest things are said that aid in a recipe, of all things, being created.
It wasn't that I had some great hankering for chili, necessarily, or that I was thinking about our Philly Cheesesteak Stew when the plot was hatched to come up with this Chili Cheesesteak Stew recipe that you are currently gazing at and hopefully salivating over. Rather, it was a verbal flub-up, a tongue being “twisted” so to speak, that caused a lightbulb to go off for this hearty, cheesy, and meaty stew to come about.
My hubby Michael and I were cleaning up after a photo shoot together for a couple of our recent recipes, one for this nice, thick Rigatoni Meatball Soup and one for something else; and he asked me a question about which recipe was going to be going up on the site first.
He meant to ask if it was the soup, but it somehow got mixed up in his mind (and in his mouth) and he got it crossed with “stew”, and asked if it was the “chili cheesesteak stew” that was next. Huh?!
At first, we both laughed and wondered where in the world that phrase came from, how “chili” even got mixed in with that, and giggled at how it came out in a funny sounding sort of stifled way; but then, both of our eyes got big and wide as in “wait, there's something to that!”, and I said, “Chili Cheesesteak Stew! That sounds so, so good! I've gotta make that! Thanks, hubs!”
And so we high-fived each other, gave each other a little smooch, and proceeded to come up with the basis for the recipe, together.
I love it when silly little flubs lead to something fun and imaginative (and a tasty recipe, in this case!)
When Chili Met Cheesesteak
I would say that I rotate in a big batch of chili for us every 6-8 weeks—we love it! And in these winter months, nothing sticks to our ribs better.
I typically use organic, lean ground beef for my chili, but Michael had the grand idea of using steak in this particular recipe, which I thought sounded amazing. So I opted for some thinly shaved sirloin, the kind you'd get generously stuffed inside of a classic cheesesteak sandwich.
And because we enjoy beans in our chili (my apologies for this sacrilege if you're a Texan), I used a combination of black beans and kidney beans for more color and texture.
There's a little kick in the tastebuds from the tangy, diced green chilis and the minced chipotle pepper in adobo. The richness and depth come from the tomato base, the onions, the garlic and the smoky spices.
But the fun little kicker is that instead of simply sprinklin' in the cheese as an afterthought, and dousing a bowl a bit too heavily with sour cream, I decided to skip the sour cream and to broil some pepper jack cheese over top to create a bit of a golden, ooey-gooey lid to plunge a nice hunk of a rustic, toasted baguette through.
Who'd have thought a silly “tongue slip” would inspire such a yummy recipe? (Well, actually, in our house, it kinda makes perfect sense...)
Hope you enjoy!
Tips & Tidbits for Chili Cheesesteak Stew:
- Thinly shaved beef steak: Trader Joe's has packaged, thinly shaved beef steak or sirloin, which is what one would typically find in a traditional cheesesteak sandwich; however, if you can't find it already shaved, then just use a pound of sirloin steak, and while raw, slice it super thin, shaving it into small enough slices that you can comfortably eat it.
- Say cheese: I like the spicy creaminess of pepper jack cheese, and grate it right off the block for use in this recipe. But use your preferred cheese such as cheddar or regular jack cheese, or even provolone (however this will have a stronger flavor). Just make sure it is a nice, soft, meltable cheese.
- Ladle it into a bread bowl, as an alternative: For extra comfort, you can always ladle this chili cheesesteak stew into bread bowls—then they'll really taste like the sandwich!
- A hill of beans: I like to use both black beans and red kidney beans in this stew for texture and color, but feel free to use only one kind, or even substitute pinto beans.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Chili Cheesesteak Stew
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4 (at 1 ½ cups per servings)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
• 1 pound thinly shaved beef steak (or sirloin)
• Black pepper
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• Olive or avocado oil (about 4 tablespoons, divided use)
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 (4 ounce / 113 grams) can diced green chilis
• 1 chipotle pepper, minced
• 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 (15.5 ounce / 439 gram) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 (15.5 ounce / 439 gram) can organic red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 3 cups beef stock (I use Better Than Bouillon organic brand)
• 1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
• 2 green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
• Crusty bread to serve on the side, optional
-Combine the shaved steak with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, plus the flour, and toss to coat.
-Place a medium size (4 quart ) soup pot over medium heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of oil; once the pot is hot, add in the steak and allow it sear for a couple of minutes on that first side, then stir to allow it to sear on the other sides becoming slightly browned, for about 3-4 minutes total; remove the steak with a slotted spoon and set aside for a moment.
-Add another couple of tablespoons of oil into the pot (if necessary), and add in the diced onion; saute the onion for several minutes, stirring it and scraping up all those tasty browned bits that were left behind from the steak; next add in the diced green chilis and the minced chipotle pepper with adobo sauce, and stir to combine.
-Add in the chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, and garlic, and stir until these become aromatic, about 30 seconds; add in the tomato paste, cook for about 30 seconds, stirring to incorporate, then add in the beans.
-Finally, add in the beef stock, bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes; then, add the beef back in.
-To serve, ladle into bowls, and top each with ¼ cup of cheese; place under broiler for a moment to melt the cheese, then sprinkle with the green onion and enjoy with crusty bread!