Friday, November 16, 2012

Chili con carne


I've been in the mood for Chili con carne for about 3 years. It was about time I did something about it...
I was browsing the Food Network website a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for my bimonthly-ish culinary gathering of sorts, when a recipe caught my attention.

That was it! I was sold! This was going to happen... "This" was Guy Fieri's Dragon Breath Chili.

Seeing as my stomach lining is nowhere as heat-tolerant as Guy's, I substituted most of the hot peppers for bell peppers, adapted the spice-mix to whatever I had lying around in my pantry and omitted most of the hot sauce, chili powder and cayenne, preferring the slightly much safer option of post-cooking heat-customization :D


2 tablespoons granulated onion

2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander (I used a pestle and mortar, but if you have powder or a spice grinder it is better; those half-ground seeds can get really annoying in the final texture)
1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (not in the original recipe)
1 tablespoon crushed dried oregano (not in the original recipe)
3 teaspoons kosher salt
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons bacon grease

2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced very finely
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 head garlic, grated 
  • 2 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 28oz can of peeled tomatoes (I used Italian style because I had it in the pantry already, but plain is fine)
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • water (about 1-2 cups, just as needed to avoid getting too dry during cooking on day 1)
  • 12 ounces lager beer (used it to reheat on day 2)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 14oz cans pinto beans, with juice
  • 2 14oz cans kidney beans, with juice
  • 1 14oz can black beans, with juice

  • For garnish: 
  • Saltine crackers and corn chips
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely diced
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Liberal amounts of shredded Cheddar cheese
In large stock pot over high heat, melt butter and bacon grease.
Add the diced bell peppers, jalapeno, and onions and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute longer. Reserve in a bowl.

Add chuck meat to the pot and brown.
Add ground beef and sausage to brown and stir gently, trying not to break up the ground beef too much, when the meat is almost cooked all the way through, add the reserved sauteed vegetables back into the pot.
Add in the spice mix and cook for 1 minute. Add in tomato sauce and paste and stir for 2 minutes.
Stir in the chicken stock and beans. Lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.
If it is not wet enough, add some water. Let rest overnight in the fridge. 
Note: If you are preparing this chili on the day you are going to eat it, add the beer together with the chicken stock and forgo the water.

To reheat on day 2, stir in the can of beer and extra water if the chili has become too thick. Reheat on low heat for 30 minutes, or until the chili is warm evenly.

Serve with saltine crackers, a good dollop of sour cream and sprinkle liberal amounts of shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro and spring onions :)


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