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Author Topic: Talkin' Chili  (Read 8865 times)
Bettytron
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« on: December 06, 2011, 08:41 pm »

BSam rightly pointed out that chili lacks the presentation aspect of the official food day competitions, but goddamn if I don't love chili. I love making it, I love sharing recipes, and I love how fiercely protective people get about their own particular versions. So! I want to hear your chili recipes, stories, how much you love/hate Cincinnati style chili (I've never had it in spite of being from Ohio, so no opinion from me) or whether you eschew kidney beans in favor of something else, and so on.

I'll kick things off!

I start with:
1 white onion
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves of garlic
large can of tomato sauce
1 can dark kidney beans

cumin
chili powder
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper
cinnamon
ground coffee
brown sugar

I start by chopping up the onion and sauteeing it in some butter in a big heavy skillet (the whole chili gets made in here; it's one dish cooking which I <3) and when it gets nice and translucent, I add the ground beef. I let it brown faaairly well on one side before I start breaking it up, just because I find that scrambling it around less leaves you with bigger pieces of meat, which I like. So right after I put the beef in the pan, I sprinkle on a little bit of cumin, cayenne, and chili powder, right onto the meat. As that cooks I'll just use the spatula to break it up a little bit and mix it around so I end up with bite-sized pieces of thoroughly browned meat.

After that, I add the tomato sauce and kidney beans, and start adding the spices to taste. I never measure here, but I'd guess maybe a teaspoon of each, with two teaspoons of both the ground coffee and the brown sugar. The coffee's my favorite part, it gives it an amazing smoky flavor that's even better as it simmers. Let it simmer for twenty minutes or so, and then add each of the spicy spices again, another teaspoonish each (more or less depending on your own taste). Then just let it simmer as long as you like, taste it again to see if it needs more seasoning, and then serve with a heap of saltine crackers crumbled in it, and shred some cheddar cheese on top.

This makes 4 servings, so we just refrigerate it and reheat and eat the rest the next day. I know there is science behind what happens to things when you chill and reheat them, and I do know that it tastes SO GOOD the second day, even better than the first. Is there a way to replicate that magic without actually just making the whole batch the day before you plan to eat it?

Anyway, let's hear yours!
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Truck Thunders
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 12:19 am »

The one thing I have to say about that recipe is that I would cook the beef in a seperate skillet so you can drain it easier and you woin't lose any onion juices; otherwise the chili will never cook down right.  Other than that, I'm the one who needs help when it comes to chili.  Ohj, shit, and I would add real peppers as well.  It takes a ton of work but it's definitely worth it, because there's a moderate but distcint flavor all fresh peppers have, whether hot or sweet (especially sweet) that drtied ones don't have.

Also, if someone knows how to make a proper chili without beans, I need to hear how, becaus I've been trying to make the perfect beanless chili for a while now and it's fucking hard.  It always gets too thick, but if I leave in the beef fat it's too oily.  I might just be an idiot who cooks the chili down too much but I need to know from real cooks before I can proceed.

Oh, and apparently BSam sucks, because chili is the greatest thing.  It doesn't matter how ugly a dish looks if it's delicous.
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BSam
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 02:14 am »

Fuck you
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oball
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 02:26 am »

Oh, and apparently BSam sucks, because chili is the greatest thing.  It doesn't matter how ugly a dish looks if it's delicous.

His point was that chili is not a good choice for a thread where we take pictures of our food and post them for others to look at and judge based on appearance.

Anyway.  I don't really have a proper recipe as such for chili (I do it by taste), so it ends up a little different every time I cook it.  It probably also wouldn't be considered a real chili by a Texan, but since Texans are douchebags that doesn't worry me.

Chop up a couple of onions, and fry them in some peanut oil until they're soft.  Throw in some finely diced garlic (maybe four or five cloves) and some chopped up chilies - if I can get them at the supermarket, I use jalapenos - you probably want about two or three chilies depending on how hot they are, your personal tastes and how much chili you are making.  Cook the garlic and chili a little, taking care to not let the garlic burn.  I also often chuck in a bunch of sliced mushrooms at this stage as well.

Next you want to add meat - about 500g.  Beef mince is the obvious choice, but I've had good results with wallaby mince or diced casserole steak.  Cook up the meat until it is browned.  Like with Betty's recipe, I usually chuck some cumin powder in while the meat cooks - perhaps two or three teaspoons - and a bit less than half that amount of coriander powder too.  When the meat is browned, pour in a tin of diced tomatoes and a (drained, washed) tin of red kidney beans.  Give it all a good stir and get it simmering.  Next I add a good squirt of smokey barbeque sauce and a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder.  Stir that all in and give it a taste.  You may need to add more cumin, or some chili powder if it's not hot enough, and you probably want to salt and pepper it at this stage too.  As I said, I add all the spices to taste.  Also, dice a red capsicum and throw that in too.

Now you just want to let it simmer uncovered until it's all cooked together and reached a nice consistency - about half an hour, maybe more.  If it's too thick to start with, add a bit of water, and if it's too thin, add some cornflour.  If you have them, stir in some chopped fresh coriander leaves just before you serve it.

Anyway, that's my chili.  If you want it vegetarian, add an extra tin of beans instead of the meat, and more mushrooms and capsicum.  I usually serve this with brown rice and a fresh salsa* on the side.


*Not the kind you dip your Doritos in - Dice red onion, tomato, capsicum (yellow is good in terms of making it look nice, but use whatever colour), avocado and half a chilli, mix them in a bowl with some fresh squeezed lime juice, coriander leaves and a dash of olive oil.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 02:33 am by oball » Logged

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Truck Thunders
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 03:24 pm »

His point was that chili is not a good choice for a thread where we take pictures of our food and post them for others to look at and judge based on appearance.

Yeah, I know what his point was.  I was very drunk and defending chili.  Sorry about that.

But am I the only one who drains the beef?  Or is there some kind of 98% lean you can get somewhere or something?  How does all that fat not bother you?
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BSam
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 03:34 pm »

It's cool, I was very drunk and defending myself.
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Bettytron
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 03:47 pm »

It depends on what my grocery store is carrying- it seems like they'll go weeks at a time and only have ground sirloin, which I won't drain- it's not fatty and what fat there is just tastes good. Sometimes they only carry ground chuck which I do drain- it never occurred to me that I was losing onion juices at that point- I guess because I was getting the meat all oniony anyway by cooking them together? Next time I make it with chuck I'll cook them separately though, and see how that turns out flavorwise.

Are there peppers you'd recommend besides/in addition to jalapenos? I'll try adding those next time as well, though I am not really big on spicy things in general. I'm firmly a "Medium" spicy salsa person.
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Wibblewobble
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 03:57 pm »

You can buy pretty lean mince here in UK-land quite easily. Obviously you need a little fat, to smooth out by lengthy simmering the inherent bitterness of many of the veggies used in these stew-type meals.

My chilli recipe is very mundane compared to some of the ones here - I have no chocolate or coffee-fu at all:

Soften onions (1 large, sliced finely) in oil.
Add garlic, add minced 400g beef. Brown.
Add chillies, and toasted and ground cumin.
Add whatever green stuff (courgette, bell pepper, whatever needs using in the fridge) sliced up.
Add two cans of drained kidney beans, one can of chopped tomatoes, some tomatoe puree and enough boiling water to make it a little sloppier than the consistency you want, as it'll thicken with simmering.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for one hour. At least.
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Captain Bravo
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 04:13 pm »

I always drain the meat, just because when I make chili I make huge batches and put a bunch in the fridge, and the fat always seperates and just messes everything up.

As far as the onion thing, I agree that you do lose a bit when you've cooked it all together and you drain the fat, but I think it's a decent trade-off. If you brown the meat without the fried onions in there, you lose a lot more than you gain. (In my opinion, anyway.)

What do you mean by "Too thick", truck? There's several different ways you can go with a chili, depending on what you need it for, but generally something like this strikes a pretty nice balance.

Oh yeah, and fuck you Oball, almost forgot. (Although that is a pretty nice-sounding chili. What does wallaby even taste like?)
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drunkpiano
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 04:15 pm »

Kangaroo
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Bettytron
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 04:55 pm »

a fresh salsa* on the side.


*Not the kind you dip your Doritos in - Dice red onion, tomato, capsicum (yellow is good in terms of making it look nice, but use whatever colour), avocado and half a chilli, mix them in a bowl with some fresh squeezed lime juice, coriander leaves and a dash of olive oil.

Guacamole?
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oball
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 05:16 pm »

Isn't guacamole mashed or blended avocado?


I just looked at Wikipedia, and it tells me that what I'm talking about is called pico de gallo or salsa fresca.
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Bettytron
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 05:26 pm »

At least regionally the introduction of avocado would make it guacamole, even if it isn't blended into more of a mash or puree. Pico de gallo makes sense! The fresh chunky texture is the key, right? That sounds like a fantastic meal at any rate.
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Truck Thunders
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 05:40 pm »

Bravo, that's somewhat looser than my chili.  I haven't been using tomato paste at all because the flavor tends to overwhelm everything else, but as a result the chili ends up cooking down to a sort of meat paste a lot of the time, especially after reheating.  I think I'm also adding a little too much cumin.  I tend to overdo it with spices.

Betty, jalapenos are the best balance of heat and pepper flavor I know of.  You can try throwing in a habanero or two, but be careful because they're hot enough to make your fingers burn when you're cutting them.  And green bell peppers always work for plain pepper flavor.  Or, if you're feeling lazy and can find it, you can add a few dashes of this:



It's the best hot sauce ever.  It's made from a ton of ground red peppers so it actually tastes like pepper and not hot vinegar like Texas Pete.  It does still have a strong vinegar flavor, though, so don't add too much.
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oball
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 05:53 pm »

At least regionally the introduction of avocado would make it guacamole, even if it isn't blended into more of a mash or puree.

Well, when I originally got the recipe off a friend it was just onion, tomato and chili.  I started adding the capsicum and avocado to get more vegies in there, and to make it more colourful, but it didn't really occur to me to change the name.
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RummyLu
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 02:18 am »

Just chiming in here on behalf of the culinarily retarded - soak your kidney beans overnight before you stick them in your meaty stuff.
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HyperGlavin
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2011, 02:58 am »

I have no specific chilli recipe that I stick to, but I do prefer to use diced kangaroo meat instead of beef mince.
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Alderaan
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2011, 05:39 am »

Totally jealous of the people who have exotic meats regularly available. I have to go to this restaurant:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/358317592/

And they're pricey. Their ostrich is awesome, though.

I am Cincinnati chili all the way. I usually pester my Ohio friends to send me the spice packets, I've never tried to make it from scratch. I should probably give that a shot.
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Citizen Snips
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2011, 06:27 am »

Yes, but which brand?

This is important.
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Alderaan
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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2011, 01:39 pm »

Which brand? What kind of question is that? Skyline. There is no other brand.
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