Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eating In / Chili

I've been in the mood for chili lately. Last night was my first real attempt at cooking a deep chili sans crock pot. I merged two Bobby Flay recipes (beef and black bean and red beef chili) and came up with the following:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes [I trimmed all the fat]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped [I increased the garlic]
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder [rather than pasilla chili powder, which I couldn't find]
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 bottle dark beer [I used a Newcastle]
  • 5 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned low-sodium or water [I use the Kitchen Basics boxed stock, it has far less sodium]
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained and pureed [I didn't puree the tomatoes, instead I used an immersion blender]
  • 1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon honey [I used agave nectar]
  • 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained [I used one black beans and one kidney beans]
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Goodness sauce [from Intensity Academy in Tampa--this stuff is made from over 100 pounds of garlic and an obscene amount of habanero peppers; its great, but dangerous. I used this rather than the 1/2 poblano pepper and jalapeno I had diced up. Last minute decision.]

The steps to cook this one up are pretty simple. I prepped everything ahead of time, so it was simply a wait, dump, and stir cooking. Since I combined two different recipes, I'll put my steps below (but there's no real difference between the Flay recipes and what I outline here):

  1. I trimmed all fat off my beef, more for health reasons than for flavor. Decisions must be made.
  2. Heat a deep pan to high with the olive oil. Throw in your meat. give it time to brown on one side before stirring.
  3. Remove the meat. Put the onions in the pan and give them 3 or 4 minutes. Add your garlic and cook for another two minutes (if you want to add fresh jalapeno, serrano, poblano, or habaneros pepper, now would be the time). Add all your dry spices. Keep stirring at this point so the "chili paste" doesn't burn into the bottom of the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the beer and crank the heat to high. Let the beer reduce down until you have an almost pudding like consistency (this took about 8 minutes for me).
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add the chicken stock, meat, tomatoes, chocolate, honey/agave nectar. Cover the pot at this point and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Add beans. Cover again. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and squeeze in the lime juice.
  8. I let mine sit in the pot for 3 hours before I transferred it to the fridge.

Just about every good chili recipe I looked over advised waiting 24 hours before eating, so chili is on our menu for tonight. I wanted to whip up the crema fraiche, but couldn't find non-pasturized heavy cream at our grocery store. There's a mexican grocery near our house; if I'm motivated, I might see if they sell mexican crema today.

Pictures coming.

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