Monday, February 28, 2011

Recipe in Progress: Smokey Chili

I'm actually pretty happy with the way this turned out.  Maybe a little too spicy for some tastes, though I think its very mild.  I would like to add a bit more smokey flavor though, maybe I'll add some bacon next time.

Smokey Chili


2 Dried Chipotle Peppers
2 12oz Cans Diced Tomatoes
2 12 oz Cans Black Beans
2 Small Red Peppers
1 Red Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1-2 Pounds Cubed Meat
3 Tablespoons Oregano
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes


1.  Dice onion, peppers, and garlic.  Cube meat into chucks roughly a quarter inch in length.  Reconstitute chipotle peppers by placing them in hot water.  I usually boil some water in a tea kettle, pour it in a bowl, then place the peppers in that.

2. Simmer the onion over medium heat in a sizable pot until pieces start to become translucent.  Add garlic.  After a few minutes, stir in the cubed meat.  Any meat will do really.  I've used both beef and venison and the chili was good on both occasions (though the venison was probably a bit too lean).  Pork would also be fine, as would a combination of different things.  I make chili to get rid of stuff taking up room in the freezer, so use whatever you have on hand.

3.  After meat begins to brown, stir in the peppers.  Add 2 tablespoons of the oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Drain the beans and add beans and diced tomatoes to the mixture.  Dice the reconstituted chipotle.  If you want mild chili, be sure to remove the seeds (but be careful, capsaicin is not your friend unless you are eating it).  Stir chipotles into mixture.

5.  Add the rest of the spices and let the mixture simmer for awhile.  Maybe watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica or Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.   Really, the longer you simmer everything together, the better.  I don't recommend sitting down and reading War and Peace or anything, but about 45 minutes to an hour will do nicely.  If you are starving, you can eat as soon as the beans and chili are sufficiently warmed.

Serve with Cheddar Cheese and Cornbread.

-As I already mentioned, I think adding bacon to would help achieve the smokey flavor I'm going for.  The chili is almost to where I want it, so I'm hoping the bacon pushes it over the edge.

-If you find that the chili is too spicy, add beer.  I never put water into my chili.  An ale or pale lager works best and adds another flavor to the chili.