I saw Filet Mignon Chili on a restaurant menu once and knew I to try it at home. Filet mignon is a splurge, but a little goes a long way in a big pot of chili and makes this classic comfort dish extra special.
This chili features juicy bites of filet, creamy white beans, and a variety of hot, and not so hot, fresh chili peppers. You can make it with or without a bottle of beer. I like my chili chunky, and I like to see what’s in it, so I don’t cook everything into oblivion. It’s about a 30 minute process from start to finish. Chili powders actually lose potency and degrade over long cooking times, so I think for the brightest flavor you need to keep the cooking short.
Masa harina, or Mexican tortilla flour, is used to thicken the chili, and also to make the biscuits. It’s different from corn meal or corn flour in that it’s the dried form of ground hominy, specially treated with lime. The biscuits are to-die-for tender and delicious. Masa harina lends an authentic and beautifully subtle corn flavor to things, it’s one of my favorite flours.
You can ladle your chili over a split biscuit, or eat them warm on the side with butter. Either way they really complement the chili. The masa harina gives them a tender moist crumb.
- 3/4 lb filet mignon, cut into small bite sized pieces
- olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, chopped
- 2 hot peppers, such as jalapeno or Serrano, sliced, seeds and all
- 2 mild peppers, such as poblano, or cubanelle, seeded and chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 26 oz canned tomatoes
- 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 bottle of beer (or you can use water)
- 1 heaping tsp cumin
- 3 heaping tsp chili powder (I used a combination of regular, Ancho and Chipotle)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 15 oz can of white beans
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 Tbsp masa harina
- sour cream for garnish
- 1 cup (5 ounces) masa harina
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 cups (10 ounces) flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 Tbsp (1 and 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut in pieces
- Coat the bottom of a heavy stew pot with olive oil. Heat the oil and then brown the meat for a couple of minutes until browned on all sides. Remove to a bowl.
- Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onions and peppers for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for a minute more.
- Add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and beer. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the spices and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add in the beans, and check the seasonings. Let the chili cool and then refrigerate until you are ready. It will benefit from the resting time.
- When ready to serve, bring the chili up to a simmer, and taste. It might need more salt or even more chili powder.
- Mix the water and masa harina together and pour about half into the chili while you are stirring. It will thicken immediately. Add the rest if you want a thicker consistency.
- Serve with sour cream and biscuits.
- To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 450F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the masa harina, buttermilk and honey together in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a processor along with the butter pieces and pulse about 10 times until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add the buttermilk mixture and pulse just enough to bring the dough together.
- Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 10 times until the dough is workable. Add in extra flour if it’s too wet.
- Pat into a 9 inch round and cut out about 8 biscuits with a 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inch biscuit cutter.
- Bake for 5 minutes, until they just start to rise, and then turn down the heat to 400, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden.
- Cool on a rack.