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Author Topic: Chili recipes- tips, tricks, and evolutions  (Read 1392 times)
Kingcreek
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« on: January 09, 2017, 10:49:41 AM »

prologue: I have been making chili for 40 years. Started as a college student on a tight budget, married to the "spice queen" past 25 years. She really is a master of flavors, herbs and spices, orders all kinds of bulk spices from all kinds of exotic places and maintains a complex inventory of blends etc. With her help and my 40 years of experimentation I have almost settled on the following recipe. Amounts are not precise and can be flexed to individual tastes.
I realize chili can be done a lot of different ways and I'm still open to any tips, tricks, etc. if anybody has their own to add.

1.5 to 2 pounds lean meat. I prefer venison, rinsed and allowed to drain thoroughly. Cut into pieces about the size of the end of my little finger. Mix in a bowl with 2tbs flour and a tsp sea salt.
4-6 cloves of garlic finely minced.
1 large onion chopped.
1 quart of tomatoes. We use our home canned.
Peppers chopped. I use 1 green bell pepper and 4 jalapeno. I prefer to toast the jalapenos before removing stem and seeds. (You can use all bell or all jalapeno depending on you or your households heat preference.)
4 cups of beans, pinto or black. If you must use canned beans for deity's sake rinse and drain.
4 strips bacon.
1.5 Ttbs Chili powder in the juice squeezed from 1 whole fresh lime and set aside to soak. (My wife insists that the chili powder should not long simmer and is best added near the end.)
1 tbs cumin
1/2 tsp of chipotle pepper (this and the bacon add a hint of smoke to the finished chili)
optional: the spice queen adds a little marjoram to the simmer and a little coco at the end
Sour cream

Cook bacon in the bottom of a stock pot until crisp and then remove and set aside leaving grease in pot.
Add the garlic and onion. Cook until it starts to go from white to clear and then add and brown the meat. (the flour coating adds body to the chili).
Stir in the tomatoes, peppers, cumin, chipotle.
Stir well and frequently while bringing to a simmer and then turn heat down to low as can go without losing the simmer and cover for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally being sure to get the sticky stuff from the bottom of the pot into the mix..
After 2-3 hours (longer is better) stir in the beans and cover, leaving a small gap at the edge of the lid for venting and simmer another 1 hour.
Add chili powder/lime mix, turn off heat, stir well and then leave covered tightly for 15 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crumbled bacon on top.
Best served with crispy skillet corn bread (which has been covered in another thread here somewhere)

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41magsnub
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 10:56:29 AM »

Tomatoes?  Chili Powder?  Beans?
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BobR
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 10:57:43 AM »

Ask the spice queen what she thinks of adding espresso powder at the end with the cocoa. When I do my rub for brisket I use a little of both, more of the espresso than cocoa though.

bob
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French G.
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 11:33:28 AM »

No chili mastermind but try a little cinnamon. Also, I canned some pickled jalapenos with garlic, black pepper, and cumin, very complex spiciness.
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 11:34:33 AM »

Ask the spice queen what she thinks of adding espresso powder at the end with the cocoa. When I do my rub for brisket I use a little of both, more of the espresso than cocoa though.

bob
She would no doubt try it. Sounds interesting. I have used a dry rub with coffee and ancho.
The chili powder I used was her custom medium hot blend. I have to ask her before entering the spice vault and that was what she recomended and she insisted it be lime soaked.
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fistful
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 11:56:55 AM »

Have you tried adding celery?
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 12:06:30 PM »

I usually don't add tomatoes unless I'm trying to stretch the recipe (the way most folks use beans.)  

I use dried red chiles* instead of fresh or chili powder: Break into large pieces, remove the stems and some of the seeds.  Simmer in a cup of water for 5 or 10 minutes, then allow to steep for a while.  Blenderize to make a thick paste (might have to add more water or broth)  Strain thru a sieve into the chili pot, put the skins and seeds back in the blender with a little more water and whiz them again briefly to clean the blender and any goodness left on the chile trash.  Strain that with the sieve and discard the solids.

*mixture of ancho peppers + guajillo or red New Mexico.

I use oregano just like she uses marjoram.  I'll try marjoram next time.
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2017, 12:22:57 PM »

Have you tried adding celery?
Have not. Celery, both fresh and dried seed, is under rated as a flavoring.
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Amy Schumer
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 01:06:03 PM »

What?!?!?!?  No spaghetti noodles??
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 01:24:46 PM »

Chili recipes/styles are definitely regional things. Iowa chili has meat, beans, onions and tomatoes in it, along with the spices and peppers.

I can't digest a lot of domestic red meat or dried beans, so I have started making chili with turkey burger (or wild game) instead of beef burger and hominy instead of beans. I like to add cinnamon, cocoa and sweet paprika to mine.
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adively
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 02:15:43 PM »

What?!?!?!?  No spaghetti noodles??

I know and to imagine him calling that chili.  grin Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2017, 04:32:41 PM »

In my experience, the difference between chili and good chili is well defined flavors & textures.
Just throwing all the ingredients in a pot and letting it cook for a few hours may be accepted 85%of the time but when you want to get your Julia Child on keep it more like a stew and less like a soup. 

For example, cut up some red onions at the start, and by the end of cooking, they're indistinguishable.  The flavor is in there mixed with tomato, peppers, and everything else.  That's an expected chili flavor, but for some definition, the same taste with a discernible texture, add another handful of chopped red onions more than halfway through the simmer.  Or change it up with chopped green onions or shallots.

If you have a variety of chiles, try adding them at different stages of cooking.  Say a coarsely chopped 1/4 cup in the initial sautee, and a tablespoon of finely chopped in the last 30 minutes.  Better yet, a tablespoon of fine at the onset, and a 1/2 cup of smoked and skinned mixed chiles near the end. And go for the heat/flavor spectrum.  All habanero might be good for a laugh, but if there are layers of jalepneo, poblanos, and cayenne under the habenero slap, it will be worth the snot, sweat, and tears.

Another good to great move involves meat preparation. That $9 per pound sirloin is wasted after cooking for 3 hours. Overcooked meat is tough and chewy meat.  Smoke a roast over hickory, cut it up and put it in the pot less than an hour before serving.  Grill a peppered pork tenderloin over high heat after the pot is simmering, cube it and add it late in the game.  Stir fry chicken breast in heavy garlic, etc. Do all three, but don't overcook the meat.

Chili is a very personal thing, and if done well, it's wonderful.

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Andiron
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2017, 07:25:51 PM »

Beans?  You've got some kind of weird stew going on there,  definitely not chili  Popcorn
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2017, 03:48:20 AM »

"Chili is a very personal thing, and if done well, it's wonderful."

That's the truest thing said in this thread so far. Smiley

Cinnamon and chocolate in chili, or Cincinnati style, apparently originated in the 1920s in Greek diners. The cooks spiced it similarly to how they spiced moussaka.

The whole beans vs no beans or tomatoes vs no tomatoes is kind of ridiculous because there's no one true chili recipe. It developed organically, in many places with many people having a hand in it, using the ingredients that they had at hand. To say one type is "more" authentic than another kind is impossible to prove, really.

That said, I generally prefer my chili with beans, generally pinto or black. Because I like beans. I also generally use ground turkey. Because I prefer ground turkey over ground beef. I also prefer my chili sweeter, but not necessarily Cincinnati style, although that's often how I make it.

In the past I could never make a pot of chili that suited me. I was just never enthused with the flavor until I started using two packets of McCormick's or even Walmart's chili spice. That got me closer to what I wanted.

Then I started chopping up a canned chipotle and adding some of the adobo sauce from the can.

That got me REALLY close to what I like, so I've pretty much stuck with that.

Final topping once it hits the bowl is a little sugar to adjust the sweetness, a bunch of cheese (whatever I have), and a healthy dose of Louisiana-brand (Bruce foods) pepper sauce. It's not as hot as Tabasco sauce, and has TONS more flavor.


This morning for lunch I brought a container of homemade venison chili with white beans. Made it with venison my Mom's caregiver harvested with the rifle I lent him.

Damned good stuff.
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2017, 07:44:36 AM »

One of the things I like about chili is that it can be done so many different ways. Midwest chili traditionally has tomatoes in it but most of the typical diner/church supper chili you find here is too soupy for me and just uses ground beef. I much prefer the venison meat and we always have plenty here in NW ILL-Anoy. Lightly flouring the meat before browning adds a lot more body to the mix.
Thanks for your tips.
Chili and skillet cornbread even sounds good for leftovers.
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2017, 07:54:10 AM »

Midwest chili traditionally has tomatoes in it but most of the typical diner/church supper chili you find here is too soupy for me and just uses ground beef.


I really like ground beef chili, as long as it's in big chunks. None of that finely-ground stuff, please.

Without starting World War Cornbread again, I wonder what kind of cornbread some of you are having with your chili. The cornbread I'm used to tends to crumble, especially if you dip it into a bowl of chili. Since I don't want mealy chili, I prefer to have some kind of buttered toast (more like garlic bread) with chili. Or is there a type of cornbread (The One True Cornbread?) that holds up?

[Retreats to observe from a safe distance.]
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2017, 08:02:44 AM »

cast iron skillet cornbread that starts with bacon grease or lard. It gets crispy on the pan side.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2017, 08:14:11 AM »

"I wonder what kind of cornbread some of you are having with your chili."

Lately, Jiffy box mix done in muffin cups.

I don't dip my cornbread.

It goes in the bottom of the bowl with the chili over top.


And, I don't believe I need to say it, but yes, it has sugar in it.
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2017, 08:25:52 AM »

"I wonder what kind of cornbread some of you are having with your chili."

Lately, Jiffy box mix done in muffin cups.

I don't dip my cornbread.

It goes in the bottom of the bowl with the chili over top.


And, I don't believe I need to say it, but yes, it has sugar in it.

How much extra sugar do you add per box of Jiffy?   cheesy
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2017, 08:26:33 AM »

How much extra sugar do you add per box of Jiffy?   cheesy

Usually 6 to 8 ounces.
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2017, 09:13:06 AM »

I'll crumble up crackers into my chili.
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2017, 09:18:06 AM »

I'll crumble up crackers into my chili.

What type of crackers?
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2017, 09:21:05 AM »

What type of crackers?

Depends on what I have.
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2017, 10:58:26 AM »


I really like ground beef chili, as long as it's in big chunks. None of that finely-ground stuff, please.

Without starting World War Cornbread again, I wonder what kind of cornbread some of you are having with your chili. The cornbread I'm used to tends to crumble, especially if you dip it into a bowl of chili. Since I don't want mealy chili, I prefer to have some kind of buttered toast (more like garlic bread) with chili. Or is there a type of cornbread (The One True Cornbread?) that holds up?

[Retreats to observe from a safe distance.]

No, one has peanut butter sandwiches with chili. Cinnamon Rolls if you live north if Hwy 20 in Iowa.

Cornbread and chili is a very limited combo in Iowa.
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2017, 02:17:00 PM »

Grilled cheese w/ chili FTW
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"Because Christianity cannot forgo the basic principle of freedom - the right to worship the true God even against the requirements of the majority of a given society - it is possible, in view of the way in which the world is developing, that all the props of freedom and individualism will fail except the religious one."

Herbert Butterfield, Liberty in the Modern World
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