Thursday, February 19, 2009

The world's perfect chili *

* Disclaimer: May not be perfect
Anyone who has had my chili in the past will know that it is somewhat (!!!) inconsistent. It can range from very mild, to being able to peel wallpaper from a wall. Well, last night I came as close as I will ever come to making the world’s perfect chili. Anyway, I figured this would be as good of a place to document it.

• 1.5 lbs lean (90%) ground beef
• 1 medium yellow onion, diced
• 1 green or red pepper, diced
• 1-2 chili peppers, minced with seeds and the ribs removed
• 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2-3 green onions
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 1 ½ tsp chili powder
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want it hot)
• 1/8 tsp coriander
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 bay leaves
• 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, diced
• 2 cups beef stock
• 1 cup pale ale (I prefer Sierra Nevada…buy a six pack. Drink said beer while cooking chili)
• 3-5 cups beans, I use a mix of black, kidney, and cannellini
• 3 tablespoons chopped *fresh* cilantro
• Handful of grated cheese, I used a Mexican blend
• Masa (or regular) flour
• Salt
• Fresh ground pepper
In a heavy pan (cast iron Dutch oven preferable, but any heavy pan will work) over med heat, add meat and cook until browned. Drain off as much fat as you can. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and cook til the veggies are soft. Add the tomatoes and juices, stock, beer (you should be on your 2nd beer by now), and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 45 mins, partially covered and stirring every 10 mins or so. Add the beans (rehydrated dried beans would be best, but if you used canned make sure to rinse off the liquid) and cook for another 30 minutes. You should be well into that six pack by now. Removed from heat, add the cilantro and serve in a large bowl. Top with cheese and green onions.

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