Monday, March 19, 2012

All Day Chili

I mentioned our annual chili cook-off in my Quick Chili post and am finally getting around to sharing that recipe. We actually had a tie this year which was a first in Kruger v. Kruger history! Going into it, we both thought each other's chili was really good so I was glad it turned out a tie. I'm sharing my "recipe" here but in all honesty, I didn't write it down so this is probably not very precise. Hopefully you can get an idea though of what makes an all-day chili truly worth the effort. Hope you enjoy!

Time: all day :)
Serves: armies - I'd probably half or even 1/3 this unless you're throwing a party

  • 4 lbs of chuck steak
  • 4 lbs of chili grind ground beef
  • large onions
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 3 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 8 dried ancho chiles
  • 5 dried chiles de arbol
  • 2 fresh jalapenos
  • 1 large can of whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 2 large cans of El Pato tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 mexican beers (like Negra Modelo)
  • 1 ham hock
  • kosher salt and pepper
  1. Chop your chuck steaks into very small pieces, removing any large chunks of fat. I think the mixture of the chopped steak and chili grind beef made a great texture for this chili.
  2. Brown your chopped steak and chili grind beef in several batches in a large frying pan (don't use a nonstick) adding salt and pepper to each batch as you go. I don't think I used any extra oil to brown it but you could use some vegetable oil if you think it needs it. After every couple of batches you brown, use half a beer to deglaze and clean the bottom of your pan. Put your browned meat into a large chili pot as you go and empty your deglazing liquid to the pot too.
  3. While your meat is browning, make your chile paste. First remove the stems and shake the seeds out of your dried chiles. Lay out your dried chiles on a baking sheet and toast them in a 400 oven for 3-4 minutes, until you can smell them.
  4. While they toast, microwave 2 cups of water for 4 minutes or so until it boils. Add your toasted chiles to a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let them soak for 15 minutes.
  5. While your chiles soak, use a food processor to chop your 4 onions, 2 stalks of celery and 5 cloves of garlic. I like to cut mine into chunks before adding them to the food processor and then just pulse them about 4 times so they don't disintegrate. Set aside until your meat is done browning.
  6. Back to the chile paste. Drain your soaked chiles (the water is bitter) and add the chiles to your food processor along with your can of whole tomatoes (with the juice), 1/2 bunch of cilantro and the rest of your garlic. Pulse this together until it makes a nice, deep red paste.
  7. Once your meat is done browning, you want to use that same pan to brown your onions, celery and garlic. You may need to add some vegetable oil to the pan to cook these. As they soften, add your 3 TBSP chile powder, 2 TBSP cumin and 1 TBSP coriander. Also add salt and pepper. 
  8. Cook the onions and garlic together with the spices for 5 minutes or so, then add your chile paste to this mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add your onion and chile paste mixture to the pot with the browned meat and then add your liquid (4 cups of chicken stock plus 2 cans of El Pato tomato sauce) and chopped jalapenos.
  1. Bring your chili to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for several hours. If you're using the ham hock, add it for the first hour or so of simmering, then take it out. I had to skim the fat off my chili a couple of times so just keep an eye on it as it cooks and be sure to taste for salt and heat.
  2. Serve with Fritos, raw chopped onions and sharp cheddar cheese.

1 comment: