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Monday, January 4, 2016

My Chili Recipe




I've eaten a lot of great chili. Texas chili is awesome and has no beans. New Mexico chili (red and green) is fantastic... my great uncle makes an awesome pork chili verde! Midwestern chili is great in a diner, with freshly chopped onions an cheddar cheese. Carolina (N&S) style hamburgers would not bee complete without that specific style of drive in chili and a Nathan's hotdog just has to have that coney sauce. That said, I make damn good chili. I don't know what style it is, but I've spent years perfecting it. I use beans, not for filler but for flavor. The right beans add richness and sweetness and savoriness. Honestly, the technique is at least as important as the recipe - I'll probably need to do a video. Rex Stout, in a Nero Wolfe novel, wrote that chili was America's original gourmet food. European tradition says that we have 5 tastes; salty, sweet, savory, sour and bitter. Japanese tradition adds one more "umami", which is that hard to describe flavor of browned meat, mushrooms, funky sauces and sometime, spicy heat. Good chili has all of these aspects of flavor.
Judson Carroll's Chili recipe:
1-5 pounds of ground beef (or a mix of beef and venison) about 80 percent lean.
2 medium yellow onions
4 cloves of garlic
6-12 green -peppers (preferably a mix of jalepenos, serranos and poblanos... but if you can only get one, grab the jalepenos)
Salt
Black Pepper
Crushed red pepper (or dried chili peppers)
Cumin
Chili Powder (generic... any brand)
Dried cilantro
Dried avocado leaf
Garlic powder
Lowry's seasoned salt
1 can El Pato sauce
1-2 cans black beans
1-2 cans DARK red kidney beans
1-2 cans pinto beans
1-2 cans de Fratelli or other very fresh tasting brand of crushed tomatoes (or home canned - always better)
Sour cream
El Yucateca green habanero sauce
Tortilla chips
Most importantly, add NO water to this recipe!
First, brown the meat. Toss in the meat and a good tablespoon of salt. Get it well browned. This is the heart of the flavor
Add two chopped onions and the chopped green peppers, stir in and and cook until the onions are translucent and a little brown
Add the garlic and cook at least 10 more minutes over medium high heat
I'll say spoons or pinches because more or less is to taste.
Add a spoonful of black pepper
a pinch or two of crushed rep pepper
two spoons full of cumin
four (at least) big tablespoons of chili powder
a teaspoon of cilantro
a pinch or two of avocado leaf (this will really make the beans taste fantastic... it is the secret flavor in good refried beans)
a spoons full of garlic powder
Let the spices toast and darken a bit
Add the El Pato sauce and cook it down, stirring until most of the liquid is gone.
Taste and adjust seasonings
Add Lowry's seasoned salt to taste.
Dump in your beans, including the liquid in the cans, which is sweet and rich... If you rinse out the cans to get it all into the pot, just add a little water tot he cans and swirl; be sure to cook it out o the pot.
Add the crushed tomatoes and stir in well.
Bring to a simmer.
Taste and season again - another tablespoon of chili powder will likely be needed, and some more seasoned salt.
Simmer for an hour or so.
Serve with a big spoonful of sour cream and some habanero sauce (if you like it hot)
Put chips on the side to dip with until it cools enough to eat.
Anasazi beans are even better than the kidney beans, if you can find them.
The key is to brown everything, including the spices, thoroughly without burning. Aim for savory flavors enhanced by spices and savoriness. And, to taste at every step and adjust the seasonings.





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