bronco fan: day 1, 1960
cooking up a victory
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: in the kitchen
CHILI, as you like it !
I think a combination of flavors and textures are important so I always use a variety of meats and 'cuts' for the foundation.
beef.... ground and / or cubedchuck or bottom round are fine, dont buy expensive cuts for long cooking process.
pork.......ground and / or cubed.butt or a loin if the price is right, again buying expensive cuts for a stewing process is a waste of Money.
for thick chunks of meat, beef and pork work best, a turkey or chicken cubed chili will be dry if overcooked, so those meats work best GROUND, especially in a long slow crock pot process !
for slow cooker(crock pot) always brown your meats FIRST !
I reccomend a large wok for the process !
if using a combination of cubed and ground meats, cook the ground meat FIRST to be sure it all cooks completly, before adding it to the crock pot, drain off any excess fat before adding to the pot.
cubed meat should be seasoned before browning and be sure to oil the pan well before browning all the cubes of meat, THEY do not have to be completly done before entering the crock pot, in fact, the beef should still be considered "medium rare" with a redish pink center.
BEANS: I reccomend black beans and kidney beans, mixed, but use the beans you like ! if canned, be sure to wash and drain them well before adding them to the mix or your entire chili will taste like it came out of a can !
a can of diced tomatos,1 for every 4 pounds of meat, a good quality, will also add sweetness and a favorable acid to the chili, , no need to drain or wash the canned tomatos if you are buying a quality product.
easy on the salt, I use none UNTIL I TASTE THE FINAL PRODUCT !
SALT WILL INTENSIFY AS IT COOKS, SO I RARELY SEASON WITH SALT BEFORE THE FINAL STAGE OF COOKING !
PEPPER i LIKE IT HOT! SO i USE A COMBINATION MIXED PEPPERCORNS AND GRIND THEM FReSH WHILE BROWNING BOTH GROUND AND CUBED MEAT
(shillings makes an excellent combo pepper mix with the grinder already to go, and not to expensive either.)
garlic and onions, finely chopped, and a good thing to add to the GROUND meat when you are browning, this will help you to avoid burning the GARLIC, which happens easily if hot and all alone.
TOBASCO to taste, use sparingly to start during the browning, and adjust to your taste in the final stages.
cummin, chili powder, smoked paprika,garlic POWDER (not salt) these are my favorite seasonings for CHILI.
BEER : drink it while you cook and use it to de-glaze the pan during the browning phase.
a cheap light beer will work fine, but if you are entering a chili cook-off contest, use a bottle of newcastle nut brown ale ! or dos equis !
a bottle of beer for every 5 pounds of meat should do the trick.
RATIOS, make enough to fill your biggest pot !
the beauty of good chili is it tastes even better the next day! ( if it lasts that long )
and it will FREEZE and reheat well too !
for every 4 pounds of meat, I add 2 cans of beans, 1 black, one kidney.
for every pound of meat, I add one OUNCE of chili powder!
( that a ton of chili powder, so be sure to buy one you believe in ! )
minced garlic and onion ( I always use sweet onion BTW, but a brown onion will do.)
a quarter cup of each for every 5 pounds of meat, depending on your taste.
as you brown your meat. you can add the garlic and onion half way thru the process.
this will help you avoid burning the garlic and onions.
when you pull the groUnd meat from the pan (wok) set it aside and DE-GLAzE the pan with a couple onces of BEER, this will take the drippings off the pan surface and mary those excellent flavors together!
you will smell the intensity of the flavors as they combIne and simmer with the beer.
scrape the sides with a good spatula and let it all simmer and reduce for a minute or two .
add the CUBED meat to the simmered drippings and turn the heat back up to HIGH and brown the cubes of meat !
add the remainder of the beer bottle at this point stir, then add all your SPICES and mix together before all the fluid evaporates, turn the heAT DOWN to medium, once the spices are added.
combine all ingrEdients.
cooked ground, browned cubed and beans .
if you are going to use a crock pot, start with the highest setting, until you see the liquids bubble, then finish the cooking on the lowest setting.
if you are going to finish the CHILI in your biggest pot, or wok, turn the heat down to LOW, and stir every 20 minutes to avoid burning the bottom !
if you are making a HUGE batch for GAMEDAY and lots of friends, you may need to do multiple steps of browning to avoid overloading your browning pan or WOK !
then put everything in that HUGE pot of yours, and INSTEAD of trying to keep it all stirred and oiff the bottom to scorch, shove that huge pot of yours into the OVEN and let it cook without all the fuss for at least an HOUR on very low heat, 225-275, depending on your oven and the size of your pot. ( the bigger the pot, the higher the heat.)
here is where you can make the chili experince sensational !
for a party, give your guests a variety of toppings to add and choose from and they will all swear your chili is the best ever!
cheetos or your favorite crumpled potato chips
fresh diced RED onion
fresh diced bell pepper, (various colors, mixed, makes a nice presentation)
want to blow your guests away? ( of course) grill a nice, trimmed, piece of NY steak, and cut thin slices or slabs, depending on you budget and your friends to place on top of each bowl of chili.
remember to TASTE your chili during the final stages, and adjust the seasoning.
NOTE, you can always add stock to the simmer phase, along with or instead of the beer.
stock can also be mixed into the large production or to top off the crock pot, to keep the chili from drying out !
ENJOY ! ( and let me know if you have any questions ! )