Resolutions for foodies! Texas Brisket Chili recipe (Instant Pot or slow cooker) and cookbook review: The Defined Dish by Alex Snodgrass

#Alex Snodgrass @AlexSnodgrass #TheDefinedDish #Kristen Kilpatrick #resolutions #Whole30 #hmhco @hmhco

I found a resolution book for foodies! First and foremost, everything in The Defined Dish is delicious! This fabulous book filled with very tempting and nutritious fare also happens to be healthy and easy. Nothing tastes like you’re behaving. But this paired up with a little running helped me shed a dress size. Yay! Energy addicts will love it because it’s all feel-good food. Perfect! We LOVE this book and everything we’ve made in it!

It’s Whole30 endorsed, but the dishes aren’t all Whole30. You can make modifications if you’re strict, or not so strict. 😉

I’d love to share with you her recipe for Texas Brisket Chili. It’s terrific chili! The brisket cut really amps up the beefy flavor of the chili. It’s made in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker), so it takes no time and tender as can be. She gives slow cooker instructions, too. I’ll tell you all about the other dishes we tried, and the long list of others we want to try, after the recipe. A big hug to the author because I’d never heard of grain-free tortillas before. They work!


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Texas Brisket Chili is excerpted from The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes © 2019 by Alex Snodgrass. Photography ©2019 by Kristen Kilpatrick. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Texas Brisket Chili

SERVES 6

Oh, how I love the taste buds of my fellow Texans: big, bold, and hearty! This Texas-style chili with brisket is no exception. Normally, brisket chili takes all day to cook and uses a combination of dried chiles, but to make life easier (because, cough, that’s what this is here for) I used jarred and a good-ole Instant Pot to get this rich, beefy stew on the table more quickly and with a lot less work. The end result is everything you’ve ever dreamed of on a cold day to warm you up. And the best part is that the next day’s leftovers are even better! Yee-haw! (Have more time? See below for slow cooker instructions too.)

3 pound flat cut brisket, excess fat trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 ½ cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced 
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
½ cup low-sodium beef broth or water
¼ cup mild roasted green chiles (from a jar)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (omit for Whole30, paleo)

For Serving (Optional)
2 green onions (green parts only), sliced (½ cup)
2 radishes, cut into matchsticks
½ cup shredded milk cheddar cheese (omit for Whole30, paleo, or dairy-free)
¼ cup sour cream (omit for Whole30, paleo, or dairy-free)

  1. Season the cubed brisket with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot on the sauté function until it shimmers. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, about 90 seconds per side. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot and use the sauté function to cook, stirring occasionally,  until slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, oregano, chipotle chili powder, and paprika and cook while stirring for 1 minute.
  4. Return the browned brisket and all of its juices to the pot along with the fire- roasted tomatoes, broth or water, green chiles, and balsamic vinegar. Stir until well combined, then turn off the heat by hitting the cancel button.
  5. Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot and be sure the vent is sealed. Hit the meat/stew button and set the cook time to 60 minutes on high pressure. When done, carefully release the pressure by turning the valve on top of the Instant Pot. Once the steam has fully released, carefully remove the lid.
  6. Add the drained and rinsed pinto beans (if using) and stir to combine; keep the Instant Pot on warm until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve the chili on its own or topped with green onions, radishes, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free if Modified, Paleo if Modified, Whole30 if Modified, Grain-Free

Total time: 1 Hour, 20 Minutes

Slow Cooker Method

You can also use a slow cooker to make this dish. Just follow the same procedure to sauté the brisket and vegetables in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, oregano, chipotle chili powder, paprika, fire- roasted tomatoes, broth or water, green chiles, and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine, cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Stir in the pinto beans and let cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.


My thoughts and pics on the dishes we tried:

1-2) Mini King Ranch Casseroles – p 259. Yum! This is a nice and easy one with some shortcut ingredients involved for when you’re time and effort pressed. Corn tortillas, prepared rotisserie chicken, bell and jalapeno pepper, a mild savory chili sauce, and shredded cheese. It screams comfort food, but without all the junk.

3) Blueberry Filet Mignon with Cauliflower Mash – p 223. The author said this is a recreation of a dish she had in Rome. Such an unusual dish. The sweet and savory sauce works really well against the steak. Think of some pleasing jammy notes like a wine paired with steak. So good. We loved the creamy, garlicky cauliflower mash, too.

4) Greek Salad with Lamb Meatballs – p 109. This is a very craveable salad. It’s like a gyro without the bread and tzatziki, and to our surprise, we didn’t miss them! Total keeper!

5) Enchiladas con Carne – p 63. Wonderful enchiladas! The grain-free tortillas work perfectly. Her enchilada sauce is lickable. I tried the recipe with ground beef, and then again with ground bison, and both were fabulous.

6) Texas Brisket Chili – p 156. Terrific chili. The brisket cut really amps up the beefy flavor of the chili. I’m used to smoking briskets out in the backyard for about 14 hours, so cooking this is less than the two hours I normally rest one is great for a time saver.

7) Chicken Saltimbocca Roll-Ups – p 18. These were amazing! And they are tremendously easy despite their darling appearance!

8) Sheet Pan Sausage with Squash and Roasted Grapes – p 164. Great dinner and zero work. I’ll spread it onto two baking sheets next time to give everything a little more room.

9) Black Pepper Chicken – p 76. Great dinner. Neat to see celery as one of the main players in a dish. Lots of flavor and quick to pull together. I served this over garlicky cauliflower rice.

10) Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Pineapple Salsa – p 51. These are divine! We tried the grain-free tortillas she recommended (found in the freezer section in Walmart) and they work perfectly. Lots of flavor with sweet heat balance.

11) Sheet-Pan Chicken Shawarma with Lemon-Tahini Drizzle – p 183. Divine. Super easy and tons of flavor!

12) Chopped Muffuletta Salad – p 115. New Orleans on a plate! It works beautifully as a salad!

13) Hibachi-Style Chicken with Magic Mustard Sauce – p 105. Total keeper. Super flavorful, healthy, and easy peasy.

14) Chicken and Sausage Gumbo – p 143. Delicious, quick, easy-peasy gumbo. Only 1 out of the 4 of us loved the cauliflower rice in the middle. I’ll skip that next time.

I’ll update this as I play in the book more!

Some others I have flagged to try: Skillet Chicken Piccata – p 15 * The Best Grain-Free Chicken No-Parmesan – p 37 * Chicken Fajita Lettuce Cups – p 46 * Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas – p 49 * Steak Street Tacos – p 54 * Spicy Red Snapper Platter with Roasted Zucchini and Black Beans – p 65 * Thai Basil Beef – p 79 * Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry – p 95 * Steak House Caesar Salad – p 120 * Creamy Tortilla-less Soup – p 134 * Greek Lemon and Oregano Potato Soup – p 137 * Ginger Scallion Meatball and Bok Choy Soup – p 145 * Mexican Cabbage Soup – p 155 * Lemony Greek Potatoes with Crispy Greek Chicken Thighs – p 161 * Greek-Style Meatloaf – p 169 * Sumac-Roasted Salmon with Mint-Coriander Yogurt Sauce – p 170 * Solomillo al Whiskey – p 176 * Oven-Baked Chicken Kofta Wraps – p 179 * Curried Beef-Stuffed Acorn Squash – p 187 * Tandoori Chicken Burgers with Cumin Aioli and Crispy Okra Fries – p 191 * Walnut-Crusted Scallops with Butternut Squash Puree – p 229 * Nashville Un-fried Chicken with Easy Collard Greens – p 234 * Cajun Crab Cakes with Remoulade – p 237 * Meatloaf Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans – p 243 * Cajun Sheet-Pan Shrimp Boil – p 250 * One-Pot Chicken Pot Pie Pasta – p 254 * The Best Grain-Free Chicken Nuggets – p 268 * Cheeseburger Meatballs – p 275

*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.


Need that book? I’m an Amazon Affiliate. Any time you use one of my links to make a purchase, Amazon gives me a tiny percentage. Thank you! #CommissionEarned

The Defined Dish