Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Famous Chili

This might not be the most seasonably-appropriate recipe to post this week, but I have my reasons. My dad had back surgery this week, and I knew that he and my mother wouldn't have much energy to cook a lot of meals so I thought I'd bring them a bevy of soups and stews to keep them from dying of hunger.

I found this recipe years ago, and have tweaked it here and there. What I most love about it, is that it uses beer instead of any beef stock as the main liquid.

It also has chocolate and cinnamon, both of which give it a gorgeous color as well as a really complex flavor. The heartiness of the chickpeas combined with the red kidney beans sometimes make me want to leave the beef out entirely. {Don't tell my husband, he might faint at the prospect! VEGETARIAN CHILI? WHATTTT}
My favorite tweak that I have made was doubling the chocolate, and adding in whole hot peppers while it stews before you put the beans in. I slice them down the middle, keeping the whole pepper intact by stopping right at the stem. Sometimes I get a habanero, other times I get a couple jalapenos. Trader Joe's had monster Jalapenos so I went with just one. My parents don't love spicy food, so I had to hold back a bit.  The result is a thick and hearty chili, with lots of interesting flavors. I've also made this with ground venison, which had fabulous results.
Whatever you do, please share it! This recipe is always a hit. It is a perfect Super Bowl Sunday chili, and I like to serve it in big bowls over a slice of my cornbread {Jiffy mix with shredded cheddar, jalapenos/green chilis, scallions}
Enjoy, and tell me how you like it! 

:: Mariel's Famous Chili ::

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

2 pounds ground beef (I use 85/15 or 90/10)
3 cups chopped yellow onions (~2 medium yellow onions)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons minced garlic (~4 cloves)
2 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 Jalapeno, split in half length-wise (if you dare, you can add a Habanero or your favorite hot pepper)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I use Red Kidney and Garbanzo Beans)
Grated Cheddar, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish


Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the beef and brown well, 10-15 minutes.

Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, hot pepper, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate to the pot.
Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until slightly thickened, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add the beans, return to a simmer, cover, and cook until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Take out hot pepper before serving. I usually chop it up and add it to my cornbread.

Serve with the cheese, green onions, spooned over your favorite cornbread recipe! 

 P.S. This is how my kitchen looks while I'm blogging and cooking at the same time:
Tripod precariously placed on the counter, stacked ingredients leftover from ingredient pic. Recipe posts are a learning curve, y'all!

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1 comment:

Jaclyn Larisa Youngquist said...

So sweet of you to make that for your parents! Sounds amazing!