October 12, 2009

Chili is good

Soup.... Stew....Chili.

These are three of my favorite things about fall.

My coworker, Mike, makes good, simple chili. He brings it to team potlucks on a regular basis. The last time he brought some, I was tied up with a meeting and when I finally arrived, with bowl in hand, the chili was gone.

Enough was enough. I needed that recipe.

The story he tells, is that a roommate of his in college (I suspect he was in college about 35-40 years ago) created this simple, but delightful recipe.

It is simple. It is delightful.

The recipe he provided didn't use many measurements. I have amended the recipe, as is my way, and alter it a bit every time I make it. For example, adding tomatillos, experimenting with a variety of different peppers and amending the spices here and there.

Miguel's Chili


2 lbs ground chuck, lean
2 anaheim peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
1 large onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
3 15 oz cans of kidney beans (dark and/or light)
chili powder
canola oil

Dice the onion and garlic, set aside in separate piles.
Chop the peppers. I use a course chop on the anaheim and a fine dice on the jalapeno. (if you wish to minimize heat, de-vein and seed the jalapenos)

Over medium high heat in a large pot or dutch oven.

Brown the onion in 1-2 TBS of canola oil.
Add the ground chuck. Drain. (If not using lean, drain the majority of the excess fat)
Add the garlic.
Add the peppers.
Add the cans of kidney beans, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes with their juices

At this point stir and add spices.

The original recipe didn't call for measurements and neither do I. Sprinkle approximately 1 TBS, enough to cover the top, of the chili powder and about half that amount of the cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add approximately 1-2 tsp of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and to even out the flavor. Sample and adjust spices as needed.

Stir and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least a half hour before serving. If I'm serving several hours after putting it together, I bring it to a boil, let it simmer a bit and just leave it covered and turn off the heat.

I have used poblanos in place of the anaheims, added red/yellow/green peppers for a bit of color, and have added 5-6 chopped tomatillos, all on different occasions.

At this point, it's up to you. Tell me what you add.


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