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Chris Amirault

Chili – Cook-Off 15

304 posts in this topic

I've got a chilli on the go at the moment:

pork shoulder, chorizo sausage + beef mince

paprika, rehydrated whole chilli, cumin & coriander seed ground

a bit of beer, beef stock & tinned tomatoes.

We're going to be eating it in 24 hours time. It's in the fridge after a couple of hours of simmering. but at the moment it's lacking depth of flavour. Any suggestions to add a bit of gravitas to it?

(NB. I have chocolate & kidney beans to add later)

Any help appreciated. thanks

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Try powdered dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms to give it an umami hit.

Also, a bit of worcestershire sauce could add depth.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I made chili recently, and it was one of the best batches I've made in ages.

004.JPG

2 small yellow onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

about 4 tbsp Santa Cruz chile paste

about 1 tbsp ancho chile powder

about 2 tbsp smoked paprika

about 2 tbsp grocery store chili powder

about 1 tbsp cumin

about 1 tsp salt

about 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds ground beef

2 cans pinto beans, drained

2 cans petite diced tomatos

1 can tomato sauce

1 12-oz bottle of beer

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp cocoa

Saute the onions in bacon fat (I happened to have some in the skillet from that morning’s breakfast) until soft; add the garlic and saute another minute or so over medium heat. Add chile paste and all the other spices; lower the heat to medium low and let it simmer, stirring every once in a while, until it’s a really pretty reddish brown and glossy.

Meanwhile, open the tomatos, tomato sauce, and beans and dump them all in the crock pot; turn it on high. Add the onion mixture. Swoosh out the skillet with hot water, and add some oil, turning heat back to medium high. Saute the ground beef until well-browned and the water is evaporated; drain off the grease and add it to the crock-pot. Add the sugar and the beer.

I cooked mine on high for about five hours, because that’s how long I was gone, before turning it down to low; had I been home, I’d probably have turned it down a little earlier, but it really doesn’t matter. When you turn it to low, add the cocoa (so it can cook for maybe an hour).


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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IN reviewing multiple award winning chili recipes, I note that most of the winners add spices in stages (calling them, e.g., "dump 1," "dump2," etc.). On average, dump 1 is allowed to stew for about an hour, dump 2 for about 45 minutes and dump 3 for 20-30 minutes. Anyone know the reason/technique behind this?

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I'm not an expert, but my feelings would be to 'layer' the flavors; the first ones into the pot would become the base and background notes to the entire pot, the second dump would be the middle layer of flavors that develop more slowly as you eat the food, and the last dump would be the top notes that first strike your nose and then your mouth as you start to eat. You might see three different types of pepper used in the layers, one for overall warming heat in the first layer, one for hotter heat, but more immediate to hit, and quicker to disperse in the second layer, and maybe a different type in the third layer, with a more fragrant note, and just a mild heat to entertain the nose and set the tone. Just my .02!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I'll add that I usually toast them before adding, a la Indian cooking.

I've never read anywhere that one should do that for American-style soups, stews, etc., but it works so well in Indian cooking that I figured it had to be a good idea across the board.

And as far as I'm concerned, it is.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Heston Blumenthal does something similar with his dishes. For example, he sometimes adds onion at two different stages with varying cooking times and methods to allow for two different flavour profiles to emerge from one ingredient.

It's all about the flavour profile, which is what separates an award winning dish from the others.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Question for the red heads.

I've got a bunch of folks coming over tomorrow for chili & fixin's. I think I have the beef chili covered -- about 10 pounds of chuck roast will be getting the treatment later tonight -- but I'm interested to learn any ideas for vegetarian (black bean) chili, which I need to add as an option. I've never made vegetarian chili before, and it seems that many of the principles are different: you want a greater variety of textures, for example, and you can't use a long, low simmer to bring out flavors without compromising those textures.

Any tips to share?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Oops. Just realised I posted the same suggestion four months apart. At least I'm nothing if not consistent.

(see above but add texture as well as flavour).


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Question for the red heads.

I've got a bunch of folks coming over tomorrow for chili & fixin's. I think I have the beef chili covered -- about 10 pounds of chuck roast will be getting the treatment later tonight -- but I'm interested to learn any ideas for vegetarian (black bean) chili, which I need to add as an option. I've never made vegetarian chili before, and it seems that many of the principles are different: you want a greater variety of textures, for example, and you can't use a long, low simmer to bring out flavors without compromising those textures.

Any tips to share?

I'm eating soupe au pistou for breakfast right now, cooked altogether so many of the vegetables melt into a thick, delicious soup. Maybe slow cook a lot of vegetables with the chilis and aromatics, then at the end add some fresh veg for texture, maybe some fennel, green beans, mushrooms-things that have different textures and flavors that you want to maintain. Then you'll have a thick stew with a good stage of flavor for fresh, textural veg to dance upon. I would definitely add some beans, maybe small ones like black beans and meatier ones like kidney or even canned fava.


nunc est bibendum...

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Question for the red heads.

I've got a bunch of folks coming over tomorrow for chili & fixin's. I think I have the beef chili covered -- about 10 pounds of chuck roast will be getting the treatment later tonight -- but I'm interested to learn any ideas for vegetarian (black bean) chili, which I need to add as an option. I've never made vegetarian chili before, and it seems that many of the principles are different: you want a greater variety of textures, for example, and you can't use a long, low simmer to bring out flavors without compromising those textures.

Any tips to share?

this may not meet your requirements, but.. when I make vegetarian black bean chili, I put the finished chili (quite simple - beans, onions, chopped carrots, onions, garlic, chiles, a bit of tomato, some alcohol (beer or red wine) and chocolate) in a casserole dish, grate over some sharp cheese, dollop some sour cream on it, and then cover with little masa cakes (just masa harina mixed with warm water until it holds together). Drizzle with oil and bake. What you get is a kind of chili masa cobbler, very satisfying and with contrasting textures.

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Thanks, Nick, I had noted the two-stage idea above and was planning to use it with both onions and celery. But boy do I like the variety of vegetables idea. I have some green beans that might just work....

ETA -- Klary, that also sounds very interesting. Do you just use a standard masa dough?


Edited by Chris Amirault (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris -- can I ask why only black beans? In my mind the best vegetarian chilis have multiple types of beans in them... I actually think the Cooking Light Three-Bean Chili (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1696625) is a good place to start for proportions of main ingredients and basic flavorings... They use kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzos, though I usually sub the garbanzo's with pinto beans. I also up the ante with poblanos, or rehydrated anchos...

Emily

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The recipe below is family recipe that has been tweaked by a variety of family members for years. Most of my husband's family were strict vegetarians for many years, and this was a staple for big get-togethers. This is a good time of year to make it, since there is still corn around and you could sub fresh tomatoes for the canned. It's very forgiving and could be changed in an infinite variety of ways.

VEGETARIAN CHILI

Approx. 2 T butter or oil if you prefer

1 large onion, minced

2 green peppers, or 1 green and 1 red

4-6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp Mexican oregano, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. thyme, 1-2 T chili powder

1 large can Italian style tomatoes (1 lb. 12 oz), roughly blended with their juice

2-3 oz. tomato paste

2-3 ribs celery, diced

2-3 carrots, shredded with the cuisinart fine disc

2-3 ears of corn, cut from the cobb raw

2- 4 cups cooked black beans

handful chopped fresh cilantro

salt to taste

Garnish each portion with a squirt of lime juice, finely shredded napa cabbage, avocado, fresh green chiles or salsa, sour cream, grated cheese or lime cream: combine lime zest and lime juice with sour cream. Let mellow in fridge at least an hour.

To make the chili: Heat half the butter in heavy bottomed pot. Add onions, saute a few minutes. Add garlic, saute a minute more. Then add peppers, saute til softened, about 10 min over a med-low flame. Add dry spices, saute a few min more, adding more butter as necessary. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, plus 1-2 cups water, depending on how soupy you like it. Bring to a simmer, cover, cook 5 min. Add celery, simmer another 5 min. Add shredded carrots, and simmer covered 25 min. Add corn, beans and cilantro and continue cooking another 5-10 min. (The shorter time if corn is really small and tender. Add salt, serve.

For more heat and a different flavor: add with the tomatoes canned chipotles in adobo sauce to taste.

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Chris, I have no idea. It's one part of the original recipe I never messed with. It kind of disappears, but I think it lends body to the chili. Not particularly relevant, but the only other recipe I have that calls for shredded carrot in a sauce is a Mario Batali recipe for a simple quick vegetarian tomato sauce for pasta.

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The only additional things I'd put into the chili 'sans' carne would be cocoa powder and liquid smoke. Also you could add some pickled jalapeño.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I keep reading all of these recipes for chili and laugh. You probably have the most "free hand" things I make. I am sure it's different every time. Obviously it always has the basics, meat, beans, onions, etc. but depending what is in the pantry and refrigerator other ingredients vary. That's part of what makes it interesting.


I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Huh. I guess I appreciate all of the interesting variations people make, which I get to see when they share their recipes.

Didn't add shredded carrot but did add tons of vegetables -- red and green bell peppers, green string beans, celery, onions -- and did two stages of the bells, celery, and onions so that there were two textures. Got some smoke from chipotle peppers and smoked salt. I've never liked a vegetarian chili before this one. Thanks for the help!

Oh, as for the meat chili, 10 pounds of chuck with a chili paste from six anchos, six guajillos, and six chipotles was complex but not too spicy (this was for a potluck). Plus the usual spices, some sherry vinegar, etc.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have a pot of chili simmering away on the stove right now.

Used cubed chuck. Ground up some dried anchos (after toasting them in a skillet). Browned the meat. Reserved. Cooked onions, red bell pepper, and garlic. Added in the ground ancho powder, plus some standard commercial chili powder and ground cumin. Cooked that for a few seconds. Added beef back in. Covered with Shiner Bock (this is a beer). Brought to a simmer. Tossed in some tomato puree after about 30 minutes. There was some salt added, but I think I should have salted the beef while cooking it. Still has a long way to go to get the beef nice and tender. Need to thicken it, too. Will do this with masa harina. Will eventually add some tomatoes. I have a canned of whole tomatoes. Will just chop them up with a kinfe. I might ad beans to it. Not sure. When I do add beans, I ad them late in the game, and just from a can.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I've decided to embark on a simpler chili. I started off purist, making real Texas red, grinding my own dried chiles for powder, and adding little else besides beef, suet, onion, garlic, salt and some roasted cumin. And water. "Meat, fat and fire."

Recently I've gone down the road many of us have, adding everything from Marmite to anchovies to chocolate to tomatoes to beer to coffee, an assortment of other umami-heavy ingredients for depth, plus stocks and all the rest of it.

Tonight I'm dispensing with almost all the extra ingredients. I had a pound of ribeye and and a pound of ground beef. I browned them in a cast-iron pan over high heat with no added fat - tons of crispy burnt ends. Then added some butter (no suet in the house alas) and browned onions and garlic. Put the beef back in, turned up the heat, covered with water and brought to a boil along with my homemade chili powder (half pasillas, half equal amounts ancho, cascabel and New Mexico), some crumbled pequins, salt, and some toasted ground cumin.

Brought to a boil, scraped up the fond, then decanted into a Le Creuset and added approximately half a can of Danicoop tomatoes, drained and squeezed by hand, plus 1 1/2 chopped fresh jalapeno, ground fresh pepper and a sprinkle of semi-sharp Hungarian paprika.

It will now simmer for three hours before going into the fridge. Reading this thread has tempted me to add tons of extra ingredients but I shall hold out for (relative) simplicity!

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Day 2. (I hope it's okay to keep contributing to these old cook-off threads.)

Towards the end of the three hours yesterday I added a second layer of my own chili powder - about 3/4 tbs.

Chili taken out of fridge, brought to room temperature, some water added, brought to a boil and now simmering.

Trying to hold myself back from adding in red miso paste and/or Oregano Indio.

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Final chili. 3 hours yesterday, then fridge, and about another 3 hours today (had to re-add water twice).

I did a final layering of chili powder about 20 minutes before the end. Also succumbed and added about a teaspoon of red miso paste. A bit more Mexican oregano and a bit more semi-sharp paprika, and that was it.

Really happy. One of the best chilis I've ever made, and one of the simplest.

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ribeye, cut into 1/2" dice

3/4 large yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 tbs butter

3 tbs chili powder, made from dried toasted ground pasillas, anchos, cascabel, new mexico (in proportion: 50/25/25/25%)

1 tbs salt or to taste

freshly ground black pepper

1 tbs Mexican oregano, or to taste

3/4 tbs roasted ground cumin

2 tsp Hungarian semi-sharp paprika, or to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

several pequin chiles crumbled in, or to taste

2/3 can Danicoop tomatoes, drained of juice and hand-squeezed

1 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped

Sear meat in batches in red-hot cast-iron skillet. I didn't use any fat. Remove meat out into bowl, scraping bottom of pan as necessary to remove bits.

Melt butter in skillet, reduce heat to medium, and fry onion for 7-8 mins or until soft, stirring constantly. Add garlic and fry for another 2 mins.

Raise heat to high. Add meat back into pan, along with 1 tbs chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin, 1 tsp paprika, pequins to taste, freshly ground black pepper, and enough water to cover. Bring to boil, scraping up anything stuck to the bottom.

Decant contents of pan into a Dutch oven. Add tomatoes and jalapeno. Bring to a boil again, stir, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook for 3 hours, stirring and tasting occasionally.

Towards the end of the 3 hours, add 1 tbs more of chili powder or to taste.

Remove from heat, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate.

The next day, remove from fridge, allow to come to room temperature, then heat with 1/2-1 cup of water as needed. Simmer gently for up to 3 hours more. One hour from end of cooking, add red miso paste and final 1 tbs of chili powder, along with last tsp of paprika, and more Mexican oregano as needed. At the end, adjust salt carefully if necessary, along with black pepper.

Allow to cool somewhat and serve a little bit above room temperature with white rice, beans on the side (I used anasazi beans), plus fixings of your choice.

chili.jpg

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