Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Favorite Chili

My Favorite Chili
From Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2-3 hours
Serves 10Freezes well

4 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano (dried)
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1½ lbs ground beef
½ lb/227g ground pork*
¼ cup chili powder (Spice Island Chili con Carne is the best**)
1 can (28 oz/796 ml) tomatoes (do not drain)
3 cans (19 oz/540 ml) red kidney beans (do not drain)
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cider vinegar
¼ tsp crushed hot red chili peppers

1. For a fast way to chop the onions and garlic: drop the garlic cloves through the feeding tube of your food processor with the motor running. Shut off the motor and place peeled and quartered onions in the bowl. Replace the cover and use on/off pulses until the onions are evenly and finely chopped (2 minutes).

2. If you don’t have a food processor, chop by hand.

3. Sauté onions & garlic in oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven or soup pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until translucent. Add oregano, bay leaves and meat and sauté, breaking up the meat***, for about 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

4. Add 2 tbsp of chili powder, tomatoes, 2 cans of kidney beans and simmer, uncovered, over low heat stirring occasionally for 1½ hours.

5. Add the remaining chili powder and kidney beans along with salt, vinegar, and crushed chili peppers. Simmer, stirring now and then for 15-20 minutes
Note: *The pork does make a wonderful difference, but you can use more beef or go with ground turkey or chicken.

**El Paso Taco Seasoning is also delicious if you can’t find Spice Island brand of seasoning. It gives a different background flavor that also works well. The key – experiment with your favorite Tex-Mex seasonings.

***How finely crumbled the meat gets is a personal choice. I like mine well blended into the sauce with few large chunks. Others like it more rustic, with the meat resembling small irregular meat balls. It all tastes great, so it’s up to you.

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