I’ve been making chili in some form or fashion for whats seems like forever.
A number of years ago, Jeremy shared a secret with me, molasses and ground dried chipotles. With that, I think I finally got it right, even won the office chili contest once.
2 lbs of ground beef (or turkey)
1 medium to large white onion (diced)
2 bell peppers (big dice) [red, orange, green, whatever is available]
5 lb can of tomatoes (peeled, or diced; drained)
1/4 – 1/3 cup Blackstrap Molasses
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 TBS Garlic Powder
1 TBS Paprika
1 TBS Chili Powder
1 TBS Ground Cumin
5-6 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 TBS kosher salt
1 TBS ground black pepper (fresh coarse ground usually)
1/4 Cup of Beer (optional)
1/2 Cup of Beef Broth (optional)
1/2 TBS of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
—- Spicy —-
Choose one of the two…
1 TBS of freshly ground dried chipotle
2 medium jalapeños (whole, diced)
2 medium jalapeños (deseeded, diced)
Order of Operations
— You may use a giant sauce pot or a crockpot —
1) Sweat them out
Heat up the olive oil and add the garlic and onion, sweating them as one does.
2) Tomato Time
Open the can of tomatoes, empty into your cooking vessel, add the salt and stir everything together. The salt helps break down the tomatoes into more of a sauce.
If you are using peeled tomatoes, you will need to cut the cut each tomato into 8 pieces, I generally cut up half the tomatoes into 8 pieces, and then cut the remaining half into quarters, allowing for more of a chunky chili.
3) Brown the meat.
If you are using beef, then I generally don’t add much seasoning to the beef while it cooks, this time I did a light dusting of cumin, if doing turkey, I heavily dust the turkey, I find that ground turkey browned with cumin tastes remarkably like beef.
Make sure to stir the tomatoes.
4) Getting the right color
If you’re using the beer option, add it now. If not, simply move on to stirring the tomatoes around some more and add in the molasses, I generally don’t bother measuring out the molasses, I pour in about 1/4 cup worth and stir, if I don’t get the desired color, which is a bit of a brownish red, I add some more, pouring directly from the bottle.
5) Spice it up!
I usually at this point add in all of the spices, afterwards I stir it and do a taste test.
In terms of grinding up the dried chipotle, I use a Mr. Coffee grinder I bought for like $20, I only grind spicy pepper spices with it.
6) Where’s the Beef (or Turkey)
(I neglected to get an individual beef pic)
Assuming that the taste of the chili base is good, then add in the meat. and stir. At this point it will look like the pot is full, but you should still have room for the bell peppers. I generally drain the meat without much regard for the amount of fat that makes it into the pot, but I do not just dump the meat in from the skillet, I use a slotted spoon, I just don’t freak out if there is some fat that gets into the chili, namely because the chili tastes better with some fat.
7) Beans, Beans good for the heart…
I generally rinse the beans out whilst still in the can, filling the can with water and dumping it out until it looks like the beans are no longer in any sort of canned fluid. Add in the beans, I prefer to do two kinds of beans, but due to space and availability I will do just one kind, if there is room do all three kinds of beans.
Add the beans and stir the pot.
Add in the bell peppers and stir. If you want, as pictured by me, I added some extra onion.
9) Simmer down now
By now if you are cooking on the oven, the chili is simmering and even at a light boil, good, this brings the flavors together. However, if you find that your sauce pot is big enough, add in the beef broth, this will help make your chili a bit more soup like, definitely if you didn’t do any beer, add some broth. Whatever you do, keep stirring the chili every 10-15 minutes or so.
If you are using a crockpot, you are likely out of space and just need to stir like every 20-30 minutes, I cooked this batch on the HIGH-4hr setting, putting it to the WARM setting after about 3 hours.
10) Enjoy! For a while
This is enough chili for two people for like 8 days, assuming you eat it for dinner every night, it freezes well, I recommend freezing it.
Also, it is always better the next day, so while it will be good on the day you make it, prepare to be really happy with it later.