Friday, October 15, 2010

An Awesome Chili Recipe

This chili recipe emerged on the fly, and my measurements are all approximate (but reasonably close). The agreement upon eating it was: AWESOME. The hot sauces and powders used can all be varied. This one was not very hot (unless you're Norwegian, then leave out everything but the salt) - call it a 2-alarm chili - but the smokey chipotle was perfectly drawn out by the cocoa. This left a little bit of burn on the *back* of the tongue rather than singing the lips and front of the tongue, likely due to the presence of the cocoa. (Taste zones of the tongue:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 med. Videlia onion (or other sweet onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz can black beans, drained, or equiv.
1 sm can tomato paste or equiv.
1 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes or equiv.
1/3 cup (or more) Valentina Salsa Picante (cheap and tasty!)
Other hot sauce as desired
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 tsp (or more) chipotle pepper
1 generous palmful of Penzey's "Parisien Bonne Herbes" mix (chives, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil, and white pepper)
2 Tbsp unsweetend cocoa powder
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
salt to taste

Brown the beef, drain and transfer to stock pot. Use the drippings to sauté the onion and garlic. I like the onion in good-sized pieces. While sauteing, thoroughly mix the tomato paste into the meat, then add the drained beans and diced tomatoes. Add the onion and garlic to the chili. Stir in remaining ingredients-TASTING AS YOU GO when adding the hot ingredients. Simmer until you can't stand it anymore, then serve with crusty bread or cornbread.

I usually use molé in my chili, but didn't have any on hand, thus the use of the Ghiradelli baking powder and cinnamon. It we REALLY good.

We ate this with an India Pale Ale (local micro-brewery Ale Asylum's excellent "Hopalicious") but something like a Stella Artois or Boddingtons might have been better. Guinness would also be an obvious choice.

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