Every cook has a go-to recipe for chili, but, on a big day like Super Bowl Sunday, why not step up your chili game and make it the star of the show? Westchester Magazine has obtained the exclusive recipe for show-stopping brisket chili from The Plaza Hotel’s executive chef, Geoff Rudaw, who creates kitchen magic in this neck of the woods with the Westchester Culinary Society. He learned the deets from fellow chef, German Villatoro, back in the day when they manned the stoves together at Tequila Park at Manhattan’s Hudson Hotel.
Chef Geoff stayed true to the original recipe, making a minor tweak here or there to give it his own personal touch. “This is my all-time favorite chili recipe,” he says, citing “incredible depth of flavor, the texture of the brisket is amazing, and it has an incredible savory finish.” Chef Geoff suggests it be enjoyed with steaming white rice, tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, minced raw Spanish onions, and chopped scallion greens.
Yield: 8 servings
Brisket – 5 pounds
Pasilla chili pepper paste (ancho or mulato peppers are good substitutes) – 1/2 cup
Cayenne or Espelette pepper – 1 teaspoon
Canola oil – 1/4 cup
Onion, medium dice – 3 pounds
Garlic, minced – 1/4 cup
San Marzano tomatoes, canned – 3 pounds
Tomato juice – 1 quart
Chicken stock or broth, low/no sodium – 2 quarts
Pumpkin seeds, toasted & ground – 1/4 cup
Sesame seeds, toasted & ground – 2 tablespoons
Black peppercorns, toasted lightly & finely ground – 1.5 teaspoon
Cumin seed, toasted & ground – 2 tablespoon
Diamond Kosher salt – 1/4 cup (then, to taste)
Fried corn tortilla chips – 1 pint
Remove seeds and stems from dry Pasilla chilis, toast in 225-degree oven for 2 minutes, rehydrate with hot water, and let sit for 5 minutes. Puree to a fine paste, and reserve.
Trim the brisket and remove most of the fat leaving just enough for rendering purposes. Marinate with the chili powders, paste, and half of the oil for 6 hours.
In a heavy stainless-steel pot, turn heat to high, add the remaining oil, and bring to smoking point. Begin searing the brisket, letting it get a good brown crust.
When all the meat in the pot is brown, turn heat down to medium, add the onion and garlic, and sweat till translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
Add toasted spices and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a light simmer. Cook down for about 2 hours and stir constantly to preventing from scorching.
When the meat has reached a soft texture, put the crispy tortilla chips in the blender, add an 8 oz ladle of chili cooking liquid, and puree. Add pureed tortilla back to chili, stir well, let come to a simmer for 2 minutes, and turn off heat.
Adjust seasoning if needed, remove from pot, and let cool or enjoy immediately.