Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wolf's Chili

I've been working on my chili recipe for years. It is my favorite meal on cold days. Now it's time to put it out on the net and see if anyone has any suggestions for improvements.

1 large onion
1 large carrot
1 large head of garlic
3 tbs olive oil
2 lbs ground beef (80/20 or lower fat)
1 lbs Chorizo mexican sausage
1 bottle Guinness Stout or other robust beer, such as anything by Sam Adams
1 can tomato paste (6 ozs)
1 can tomato sauce (8 ozs)
1 tbs salt
2 tbs oregano
1 tsp cumin
10 to 15 jalapeno peppers
15 to 20 serrano peppers
1 can (15 ozs) black beans (drained)
1 can (15 ozs) kidney beans (drained)
1 can (15 ozs) great northern beans (drained)
1 can (15 ozs) red beans (drained)
1 can (30 ozs) diced tomatoes (w/ juice)
Finely shredded cheese

1. Dice the onion and thinly slice the carrot.
2. Break the garlic into cloves. Peel it, then mince all the cloves. Fresh garlic is best, but if you don't want to spend the time, you can substitute a heaping tablespoon of store-bought minced garlic in step 5.
3. Cut the tops from the peppers and discard. Place the peppers in a food processer and dice them into small pieces.
4. Place the onions and carrots in pot with oil and sautee on medium high for 8 to 10 mins.
5. Add the garlic and saute for another two minutes.
6. Add the chorizo sausage and mash it up into small pieces.
7. Add the ground beef. break it apart and cook until browned.
8. Add the tomato paste and stir well.
9. Add the salt, oregano, cumin tomato sauce and Guinness. Stir well and bring to a boil.
10. Reduce heat to med low. Add all remaining ingredients except the cheese. Mix well.
11. Simmer for an hour.

Serve in bowls topped with a generous helping of shredded cheese. Enjoy.

What you don't eat immediately, you can freeze. The easiest way is to put 1 and 1/2 cups of the chili into plastic bags to freeze individual portions. They last at least a month. They may well last longer, but they are always consumed in a month in my kitchen.

You can make this chili much hotter or milder by varying the peppers you use, as well as whether you include the seeds.

If you really don't like hot chili, you can bring down the heat by removing the seeds from the peppers, as they contain most of the capsaicin - the oil that provides the sense of "heat" in the peppers. You will still get the pepper taste that defines chili, but you just won't have all of the heat. You can also uses peppers with much lower capsaicin levels, such as Anaheim and Poblano peppers - see here. Whatever you do, though, don't try substituting chili powder for fresh chili peppers. That's like substituting shoe leather for steak.

If you think the above recipe is too mild, leave in all of the seeds and add in a few habenero peppers to the above recipe. These peppers are among the hottest in the world, so add with moderation. I find one or two habeneros leave my eyes watering. Three and the chili is inedible by most humans with normal taste buds.

Enjoy. And if you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

And while on the subject of recipes, do check out the recipe for Mac & Cheese over at Barking Moonbat EWS. Made it today and it's superb.


drew458 said...

A carrot? Good lord! :-)

3 pounds of meat and 4 pounds of beans. Hmmm. 8-12 cloves of garlic.

A boatload of jalapenos and serranos, but no anchos at all? Different. I'd guess this is a very sharp, bright chili, especially since it only cooks for an hour, compared to the 4-6 hours that some other chilis simmer for.

You are using fresh or dried oregano?

This looks like it makes about 2 dozen servings ... a nice big pot full. OTOH, that makes it a whole lot of food to make just to see if your recipe fits my taste. It isn't my chili style (a pound of dried anchos, a handful of guajillos powdered, 2 cans of pinto beans, 2lb of meat) but I try to be open to new flavors.

GW said...

1. Carrots add a very subtle bit of sweetness to any dish when you sautee them in oil for about 10 minutes.

2. I prefer the heat and flavor of fresh chili peppers to anchos. I limit my use of anchos or charred poblanos to meatloaf.

3. I use fresh oregano when I can get it in season, otherwise I just use 1 tbs dried. The Chorizo is also very spiced, so I don't have to use many spices beyond that.

4. You are right, it is sharp, very robust flavor. It is why I always serve it with cheese.

5. This is a basic meal for me and the kids, so I got into the habit of cooking job lots and freezing a lot for those days when I couldn't get back in time to cook.

If you do try it, let me know what you think. Your mac and cheese is superb by the way. Had been looking around for a good mac and cheese recipe for years amd your's fits the bill perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Nice mix. Hereabouts we add a couple tbs of brown sugar (or equivalent blackstrap molasses)
and a couple of strips of diced bacon or fatback -- fat is necessary in good chili, and NO BEANS, ever. (damn yankees :)


James Morrison said...

Looks like a great recipe, and I will definitely be giving it a go the next time my wife is out...albeit a slightly smaller pot! :-)

May need to make a few substitutions here and there because I'm not sure that all your ingredients are available here (in England), or at least they may just be known as something else!

Will let you know how I get on...

GW said...

Ga Gator -

1. The chorizo adds a fair amount of fat in addition to a lot of spice.

2. I use carrots rather than brown sugar. Carrots, carmelized along with the onions, add a much more subtle sweetness than sugar. I used to make this with brown sugar until someone told me try the carrots.


1. Hope you like it. You should be able to cut this in half with no problem. The only thing you might have trouble finding in the UK is probably chorizo, I would think. A lot of the spices in the chili comes from chorizo, but fortunately, its not that hard to duplicate in the recipe. Take a lbs of ground pork and add in the chorizo spices:

Do hope that you enjoy it.

James Morrison said...

Hi GW,

well no problem with anything on the recipe (Chorizo is available over here) except "Great Northern Beans" for which I shall substitute White beans, and "Red beans" which over here are sold as kidney beans so I may just have to drop them...hoping to do some cooking this coming weekend...

philwynk said...

Coming late to the party, but...

I've found chili is much better when you use some inexpensive cut of beef rather than ground beef, like a london broil or chuck steak. Cut it into chunks, and let it simmer with the peppers and spices for about 2 hours, until the meat is falling apart. You can leave it as chunks, or if you've cooked it long enough you can just crush it against the sides of the pot with a spoon, which will turn it into shredded beef.

Also, try adding three or four fresh plum tomatoes, diced large. Yes, I know you've got tomato products out the yazoo in the recipe, but the flavor of canned tomato just doesn't do much. It's so much better if you use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, but that takes an awful lot of work. A workable compromise is to use your canned tomatoes, but add a few fresh plum tomatoes, and that kicks the flavor up a couple of notches. Try it, you'll see.

GW said...

Phily: They sound like great suggestions. Am going to try them out with my next batch. Will post on it when done. Thx.

Dark Web Links said...

Looks like a great recipe, and I will definitely be giving it a go the next time my wife is out...albeit a slightly smaller pot! :-)

May need to make a few substitutions here and there because I'm not sure that all your ingredients are available here (in England), or at least they may just be known as something else!

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