Monday, October 01, 2007

The Second Best Chili You Will Ever Taste

If you read my last post, then you already know that I won second place in a chili cook-off recently (well, TIED for second place in fact, and that's another story!).

I used a recipe I found on the good ol' internet by doing a search for "chili recipe". Although tons of links came up, I simply couldn't pass up a recipe that contains two of my favorite things: beer and strong coffee. And also, with a name like "The Best Chili You Will Ever Taste", it's gotta be good, right??

Of course, I had to make my own modifications; mainly, upping the amount of spice and reducing the amount of sweetness. The version you see below is my adapatation and it's definitely worth checking out the original recipe for the sake of comparison and to see what I added/changed. Prize or no prize, this chili seriously rocks and has a depth of flavor as sublime and potent as the bass line to a Toots & the Maytals song, which is what I was listening to when I made this:

First, let's look at the ingredients:

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 white (not yellow or red, but white!) onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound grass fed ground beef
1 pound grass fed beef sirlion, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 14 1/2 ounce can tomato sauce
1 can Young's Double Chocolate Stout (original recipe calls for 1 can stout plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, but I think omitting the cocoa and using this chocolate stout is key)
1 cup strong black coffee (I use Cole coffee and nothing but!)
2 cans tomato paste (I was skeptical about this part but have faith!)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
3 to 4 tablespoons Pickapeppa hot sauce (accept no substitute!)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons whole coriander pods
1 chile negro (dried)
1 teaspoon cayenne
salt to taste
8 cups cooked (scratch is best!) or 4 cans kidney beans
4 jalapeno peppers, diced fine
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
chipotles in adobo sauce (really, you just need the sauce and I like the Embassa brand)

I like to start by sauteeing the onions in the oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron pot until they start to just turn golden brown. Then I add the garlic, lower the heat and continue to sautee.

While this is happening, I heat my smallest cast iron skillet and first add the cumin seeds and shake the pan constantly for about 30 seconds or until they start to just toast and release their aroma. Toss those into a bowl and do the same thing with the coriander pods and the whole chile negro, and turn off the heat. Next, I grind the spices, one at a time, in my little grinder (I use a coffee grinder that's dedicated to spices). You want to measure out about one teaspoon of the chile negro and you may have a little more or a little less, depending on the size of the chile.

You didn't forget about the onions & garlic did you?? Now it's time to add the meat to the pot and continue stirring over medium heat until the meat starts to brown.

Once the meat is starting to brown, pour the beer into the pot and stir, followed by the tomato sauce, tomato paste, coffee, broth and Pickapeppa sauce. Stir it well and then add the oregano, cumin, coriander, chile negro and cayenne. Now add half the beans and all the peppers. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let the flavors mingle and mature for a good one and a half hours.

Now, add the remaining kidney beans, one tablespoon brown sugar, about two teaspoons of adobo sauce, and a generous teaspoon or two of kosher salt. Simmer for another thirty minutes and then remove from heat. Let it cool completely and then let the flavors mingle even more overnight, and heat it up the next day. Enjoy it preferably in the company of good friends old and new, with great music courtesy of the Shut-ins, Yard Sale and Loretta Lynch (featuring yours truly!). Raise money to help feed the homeless. Drink whiskey, eat pie and dance your ass off until you can't dance no mo'. And be very, very grateful to be able to experience every last perfect moment. I was, and I am. Enough said.


raygunrane said...

oh my, oh my... that might even be enough to chase the winter rain away! I can't wait to try it, Val!

Anonymous said...

I doubt that your pop would want to go to all that trouble. He's probably getting a bit lazy in his old age. You better save him some in the freezer in case he shows up.