Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Chili Recipe

The high today was in the low/mid 80's and the low tonight is supposed to be 65°F. It sure feels like...

Chili cooking weather.

As it is a bit to late in the day to get started on a pot of chili, I think I'll just post my basic chili recipe. Enjoy.

Note: this recipe does change just about every time I make it.

Before you start, toast 3 Tbs of cumin seeds in a 300 deg. oven for a few minutes until just lightly browned. Crush the seeds with a mallet (or use a coffee grinder that you have set aside for spices like I have)

1. Puree 3 tomatoes, one 10-18 onion, 1/4 tsp Mexican Oregano, 2 tsp Paprika and 1 clove of garlic together and set aside.

2. Saute' 4 bunches of chopped scallions, 5 bell peppers, 5 serrano chilies, 1 lb chorizo (or any other hot sausage) and at least 4 garlic cloves until the sausage is brown and the onion is clear. Remove from pot.

3. Sear four lbs of beef (small cubed or course ground) that has been seasoned with Chef Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic in the sausage drippings, add a bit of lard if necessary. Just before the meat is totally finished, add a good dollop of honey.

4. Add the puree from step 1 and slowly bring to a simmer.

When the beef/tomato mixture starts to simmer, add the veggies from step 2. Also add 2 Tbs of kosher or sea salt, 4 Tbs of ground hot red chili, 4 Tbs of a milder ground red chili, a couple Tbs or so of Paul's Meat Magic and the cumin seeds. I often add a chipotle adobo paste at this point, depends on who I am cooking for.

Add enough water or beer or beef broth or ... to cover the contents of the pot plus a bit for evaporation. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, lightly covered (lid off set a bit) for 4 to 6 hours. Taste after 3 hours or so and adjust seasoning.

Depending on who I am cooking for, I will often add chopped peppers in the last 1/2 hour or so of cooking. Just what ever peppers are in the market at the time with an equal amount of red or orange bell peppers.

There are only a couple of things that are important in the recipe. The cumin is very important to chili. I like the toasted seeds, but you can use ground cumin. Start out with 1 Tbs and work your way up from there. A good, quality dried chili is also very important.

Somewhere around here I have the recipe that was used by the Yuma Territorial Prison, I just can not seem to find it at the moment. Now that was basic chili.

Oh... if you are going to add beans, add cooked beans just early enough to heat them through when the chili is done.

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