This post has been waaaaay too long coming. I keep promising the recipe to people, but I didn’t want to post it until I had a picture, and I couldn’t take a picture until I made more, and I couldn’t make more until I had time/the season was right/the kids forgot that they don’t like chili so were willing to try it again, and I wouldn’t have time until my children (??? not sure when I will actually have more time)/the season’s almost over (again)/the kids finally forgot. That’s a lot of excuses, huh? I eventually ran out of them and just buckled down one night and made this, at which point I remembered that it takes all of 15 minutes to do and I really should have done it ages ago whether my kids liked it or not. I think I was confused because the last time I made this, I made enough to give a jar each to my 15 favourite people as Christmas gifts, which did take a long time because my coffee/spice grinder just isn’t that big. But it was a hit, hence the recipe requests, so without further ado, here is the recipe (originally found here, but adjusted a lot) along with MY (read: adjust to suit your palate) ultimate chili recipe.
5 dried Guajillo chilies
2 dried Chipotle chilies (if you are a big Chipotle fan, you could add one more of these and one less Arbol)
3 dried Arbol chilies (if you like really spicy chili, I would add another of these)
1 Tbsp good quality smoked paprika
1 Tbsp coriander seed
2 Tbsp cumin seed
1 big cinnamon stick
2 tsp whole cloves
4 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder (your could also add garlic powder here; I like to add fresh garlic to the chili, but if you want to keep the chili prep minimal, that’s one way to cut down)
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1. Wipe dust off the dried chilies and toast them whole on a cookie sheet in a 200 oven, until the chilies are crisp and fragrant, anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on the chilies.
2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat and toast coriander and cinnamon for one minute, then add the cumin seed. Toast until fragrant, 5 minutes at the most, being careful not to burn them.
3. Remove the seeds and stems from the guajillo and chipotle chilies, then add, along with remaining ingredients to a spice/coffee grinder. If using your regular coffee grinder, tap out any loose grounds, but don’t worry about it being perfectly clean; the coffee with be a good flavour kick in the chill. Afterwards just run a piece of fresh bread through it to clean up the remaining spices. I usually have to do mine in two batches to start with and then do one big batch once everything is ground down to size.
4. Pat yourself on the back, you’re done.
My Ultimate Chili
OK, this is the way I like chill; it’s rich and flavourful, with a slight kick (in deference to my children. As it is I still have to add a big spoonful of yogurt to theirs to mild it out a little) and a subtle sweetness. I have my favourite chili veggies in here and all my favourite beans. Make sure when you make it, you do the same; if you prefer green peppers to red, switch it; if you don’t like mushrooms, or don’t like them from a can, switch it; if you want to burn your mouth with heat, add more chilies or hot sauce; make it your own, but trust me and try the chocolate, vinegar and brown sugar, they make this recipe!
2-4 cloves garlic (to taste), finely diced
2 medium onions, diced
1 lb extra lean ground beef (I love bison or ostrich here as well)
1 lb good quality chorizo sausage, casings removed (I use a chicken one I love, but pork is also fantastic, just make sure you have eaten the sausage on it’s own and like the flavour of it, as that’s what will come out in the chill, more than the type of meat)
2, 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 24 oz jar passata (strained tomatoes)
50 grams dark (the darker the better; 70-85%) chocolate
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar (I just use white, but white wine would work too)
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Chili powder (this is assuming the homemade stuff above; if using store bought, you will need a lot more, I would say double to start)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 10 oz cans whole mushrooms, halved
2 sweet red bell peppers, diced
4 19 oz cans beans (I usually use 2 kidney beans, one chick pea, and one either black bean or black eyed peas, depending on what’s in my cupboard)
1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add beef, sausage, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring and breaking up large chunks of meat, until beef and sausage are just cooked.
2. Add tomatoes, passata, chocolate, sugar, vinegar, salt, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until thickened to stew like consistency.
3. Add beans, red peppers, and mushrooms. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or until peppers are cooked to your liking. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, keeping in mind that the flavours will enhance over time. I prefer to make my chili a day or two before I plan to eat it, to give the flavours time to bloom.
PS A friend told me to try giving my kids taco chips to scoop up the chili with; worked like a charm, now everyone loves chili!