Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Red Chili Courtesy of Gabby

Yesterday, I posted Susi's Papa's Chili recipe, which you will see is infintely easier than mine. Well, not easier, just less time-consuming. So, I recommend that, if you get the urge to try mine, allow a little prep time. Once it's going, there's nothing to it- just let it simmer. Her recipe has no tomatoes, but around here, everyone likes the tomato taste, unless I'm making green chili with pork.

Red Chili with Tomatoes

2 Pounds ground meat ( 1/2 ground chuck- 1/2 ground fresh pork [not ground sausage])
1 large yellow onion diced (or any onion you want)
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced fine
4 large cloves of garlic, minced or fine dice
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 Tablespoons cumin (This depends on the freshness- If I grind my own seeds in the coffee grinder, sometimes it takes less. If using the powder you buy, sometimes it actually takes more than 2 Tablespoons, as cumin loses potentcy quickly after grinding.)
3 - 4 Tablespoons Chili Powder ( I think you'll find how much you need is dependent on how fresh the chili powder is. Start with a little and add as needed.)
Soy Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 14 1/2 - 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, including juice (read labels to make sure there is no sugar)
1 -2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
Water as needed at the end to thin if needed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Let me say at the beginning that we like our chili fairly spicy- not hot, but not mild either. So, if you like yours really mild, omit the jalapeno and the poblano, although poblanos have little heat- just a lot of flavor.

I use a large straight-sided skillet to make a pot of chili in. Mine is one leftover from chef days, so it holds an entire pot of chili. This works just as well in a dutch oven, or even in the crock pot , if you brown the meat and toast spices and herbs before hand.

Prepare all vegetables prior to starting. If you are grinding your own cumin seeds, grind enough ahead of time. Crumble meat in the skillet over medium high and begin to brown. Add vegetables to wilt while browning the meat. Once the meat is browned, drain the fat, and then add all the herbs and spices (except the cocoa and bouillon cubes) and cook for a bit till you really start to smell them. This toasts the herbs and spices, giving them a really rich depth of flavor. Sprinkle all with a healthy dollop of Soy Sauce and then add the Worcestershire sauce. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, a little salt and pepper to start, and stir it all together. Add cocoa and bouillon cubes after liquids are in. Reduce to simmer, and after about twenty minutes, taste for seasoning: additional cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, etc. Simmer at least forty-five minutes, adding very tiny amounts of water as needed. We like our chili thick and beef-tasting, so that's up to you. I serve with a little sour cream and grated cheese on top.

Note: Some people like a little more sweetness to the chili, so if it's near done and you do, add splenda in tiny amounts till it seems right.



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