Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Chili for Chili Heads Recipe

1lb Smoked Bacon (prefered slab) Julienne
5lbs Small Diced Beef, Chuck or Round
1/2lb Smoked Honey Ham
3Tbsp Chili Powder ( The Real Stuff)
" " Cumin
" " Paprika
" " Garlic Powder
" " Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Ground Cayenne
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 large Green Peppers
2 Large Spanish Onions
6 oz Tomato Paste
2 Large 5x6 tomatoes (Beefsteak)*
1/2 cup finely Chopped Garlic
1 can of Chipotle in Adobo Sauce or
1/2 oz Dried Chipotle steeped in Beer
1lb cooked Kidney Beans/ or your favorite*
1lb Jack Cheese Grated
Molasses To taste
Unsweetend or Bittersweet Chocolate.*

In a two gallon Rondeou or heavy bottom pot (prefferably wider than tall) Heat enough oil to coat the bottom, wait till its almost smoking, then add your diced beef. The trick here is to get a nice brown sear, very hot oil and the meat should never release any liquid, if you have to do the meat in Batches so be it. Once all the meat is golden brown, using a slotted spoon, pull the meat out and let drain. Now, with the heat still rolling, dont try to clean the pan, and dont drain anything from the pan. Add the bacon and begin rendering. Once the bacon is fully cooked, add all the spices and stir constantly until the smell of the spices starts to take your breath away. I love this part. Cook for no more than 4 min, be careful not to burn the spices. They do that pretty quick so be careful. Now add all the vegetables except the tomato products. Mix thouroughly to be sure to get all the pockets of spices that could potentially burn. Scrape the bottom of the pan very well. Cook this mixture for about 10-15 min, or until almost mushy, add the tomato paste and let cook for another five min still on high. Now add your chipotles, Tomatoes, ham , and the seared beef. lower to a slow simmer and cover. Let cook for about an hour, check mosture content often. If all this is done correctly, the beef and the tomatoes should release enough juices to make the CHili perfect. But.... well things happen, so keep a pitcher of dark beer handy. Test the meat, it should fall apart in your mouth, if not keep cooking till it does. Add the beans, juice and all, and season to taste with the chocolate and molasses. Did i mention salt????? Last thing before serving fold in the cheese. let it melt then serve it. Good luck!!

The Secret to Award winning Chili, (this being one!!) is more in the method than the actual ingredients. Chili should be prepared in a certain order in order to obtain the most flavor. Please!!! I can't stress this enough, Listen to me, NO LIQUID!!! If you don't trust me, look up the word Etoufee.If for some reason something goes wrong, and the meat is not realeasing enough liquid, a dark beer can be added to bind it all together, but use it sparingly. Beer should be used after the chili is done and your mouth needs a break from the intensity. Great Chilis are not made with ground beef!! dont go cheap on yourself, buy a roast at the market. Technically beans also don't belong in chili......but come on!!

*If you cant find good Fresh Tomatoes, Crushed in the Can is a fine

*Chocolate is a key ingredient as far as im concerned, but be CAREFUL too much can ruin hours of hard work. Use the molasses and chocolate in tandem to round out the spicy boldness with a little sweet and smokey bitterness from the chocolate. If you have a smoker, I highly recomend you smoke the Vegetables for an hour before dicing!!


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