Sep 15, 2010

First Chili of the Season

First Chili of the Season

It’s rainy and grey outside. Perfect weather for a big pot of soul-warming chili. And so it happened; I cooked the first chili of the season marking autumn’s official arrival.

Sorry to those of you mourning the end of summer, but I love this time of year. When it gets so chilly you have to light the fireplace (a fireplace DVD counts, right?) and lots of candles at night. When the colors of nature get all warm and earthy. When you cook hearty stews, soups and casseroles while the rain hits the window pane and the wind howls. Wonderful!

I took a different route this time. Normally I’d use store-bought ground beef, but I decided to put some work into it and I ran stewing steak through the meat grinder. Big difference! Huge difference in flavor. Now is not the time to show restraint in spices. Quite the contrary, you have to use a liberal amount when making chili. I did. And it was out of this world good.

Ingredients:

Chili:

2 pounds stewing steak (or ground beef)
1 large onion (mine was a sweet onion)
1 green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1 can tomato paste
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp worcestershiresauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar

Seasoning:

1 tbsp hot chili powder (or 2 tbsp medium)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp oregano

Optional: jalapeños (topping)
Optional: kidney beans


Directions:

Told you I used a liberal amount. I bet you’re real glad I’ve put it all in one storyboard! Combine all spices listed in the Seasoning list and give it a good stir.
First Chili of the Season

I only had a sweet onion on hand, it worked beautifully. Finely mince the onion, bell pepper (mine were small, so I used two) and grate the garlic.
First Chili of the Season

It was time the beast—as I so lovingly call it—made an appearance.
First Chili of the Season

I had 2 pounds stewing steak (riblappen for the Dutchies) in the fridge. It was perfect for the job. You could also finely mince it. Or use ground beef instead.
First Chili of the Season

But I decided to make my own ground beef. After all, what’s the fun in being a foodie if you can’t make stuff like this yourself? I cut it in coarse pieces.
First Chili of the Season

And there it went.
First Chili of the Season

And I ended up with a big pile of this. I thought it was still a bit too coarse.
First Chili of the Season

So I ran it through the meat grinder once more.
First Chili of the Season

It was perfect like this!
First Chili of the Season

Heat some oil or butter and sauté the onion for 2 minutes before adding the bell pepper and garlic. Give it 4 more minutes.
First Chili of the Season

Add the ground beef and cook it ‘til it loses its rawness. Don’t overcook it or you’ll change the structure of the meat too much!
First Chili of the Season

Add the tomato puree and spices and give it 30 seconds while stirring it into the ground beef. Pour in the diced tomatoes and beef broth.
First Chili of the Season

Normally I add Molasses to dishes like these, but I was fresh out. I hate it when that happens. Unfortunately it’s not an item you can simply run to the store for here. So I opted for maple syrup. It worked like a charm!
First Chili of the Season

Also add the worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. I used Unca Duke’s geaux jus. I’m gonna cry when I run out of that stuff. Throw in two bay leaves, bring to a boil, pop the lid on and simmer over low heat for 2 hours. The longer you simmer, the better it’ll get.
First Chili of the Season

But I was hungry. And I have the attention span of a fish stick. Two hours were all the waiting I could handle.

After those two hours I took the lid off and cooked the sauce for 30 minutes over low heat, giving the liquid a chance to cook down.
First Chili of the Season

Those 30 minutes gave me the exact sauce consistency I was looking for. Discard the bay leaves.
First Chili of the Season

If you hail from Texas, you might want to turn your head. It’ll get ugly now.

I drained the kidney beans, added them to the chili and gave the whole shebang another 15 minutes to simmer and bubble. And if you think this is bad, you’ll probably cry when you learn I usually add corn, too. I’m not completely heartless, so I omitted it this time. But this time only!
First Chili of the Season

I would have given it another hour but I was hungry. Real hungry. Can you blame me?

It was really all that and a side order of chili-cheese fries. I know I shot it in a pristine white bowl looking all classic and pretty. But get this; off camera I ate it poured over crispy French fries and topped with an indecent amount of cheddar and jalapeños.
First Chili of the Season

Just sayin’.

First Chili of the Season
Ingredients
    Ingredients:

    Chili:

    2 pounds stewing steak (or ground beef)
    1 large onion (mine was a sweet onion)
    1 green bell pepper
    2 garlic cloves
    1 can diced tomatoes
    2 cups beef broth
    1 can tomato paste
    1 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tbsp worcestershiresauce
    1 tbsp white vinegar
    2 bay leaves
    1 tbsp brown sugar

    Seasoning:

    1 tbsp hot chili powder (or 2 tbsp medium)
    2 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp cocoa powder
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1 tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp onion powder
    2 tsp paprika powder
    2 tsp oregano

    Optional: jalapeños (topping)
    Optional: kidney beans
Directions
    Combine all spices listed in the Seasoning list and give it a good stir. Finely mince the onion, bell pepper (mine were small, so I used two) and grate the garlic. Mince the stewing steak or use ground beef.

    Heat some oil or butter and sauté the onion for 2 minutes before adding the bell pepper and garlic. Give it 4 more minutes. Add the ground beef and cook it ‘til it loses its rawness. Don’t overcook it or you’ll change the structure of the meat too much! Add the tomato puree and spices and give it 30 seconds while stirring it into the ground beef. Pour in the diced tomatoes and beef broth.

    Add the maple syrup (or molasses) worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and bay leaves. Bring everything to a boil, pop the lid on and simmer over low heat for 2 hours. After those two hours I took the lid off and cooked the sauce until it had the consistency I liked, 30 minutes over low heat did the trick for me. Discard the bay leaves.

    If you’re going to add beans, drain them, add them and let everything heat through or simmer it longer. Tastes great when served with sliced jalapeños on top!
Meal type: main course
Servings: 6
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com
Apr 5, 2010

Quick Enchilada Sauce

Enchiladas are love. Pure love. But what do you do when they don’t sell canned enchilada sauce where you live? Curl up and cry? No way, you make it yourself!