Black and Red Chili

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I love to make chili. When I first started cooking on a regular basis, it seemed like I was making up an experimental batch every weekend. I would throw anything in the pot if I thought it might taste good - mushrooms, black olives, egg plant – you name it. Through making numerous chili variations I realized that one simple item could ruin an entire pot of food!

I still make chili on a regular basis but my recipes have been refined and continue to evolve. This fall I have made chili numerous times and lately when I have beef as the main ingredient I simmer the entire pot for a couple hours uncovered, which concentrates the flavors and thickens it up. Also, I have been using a fair amount of garlic and onion in the base which opens up the taste buds and amplifies the other flavors in the pot. For sweetness, I add red peppers, and for a fuller bite, black beans have been thrown into the pool. These two additions have inspired the name for my current creation: Black and Red Chili.

Black and Red Chili

Like I said in the introduction, I love to make chili and this recipe is one of my favorites. I used to make most of my chili quick, in 30 minutes or less, but I never used any water or broth, the only liquid came from crushed tomatoes. The end result was a thick chili with lots of different flavors in each bite.

Over the last couple of years I have started to change my tactics and part of that is adding lots of liquid and reducing it during a long simmer. This creates the thick chili that I like, but the end result is consistent flavor with every spoonful. The long simmer not only thickens the chili by evaporating the liquid, but it allows all of the flavors to concentrate and harmoniously mingle. Each bites contains the rich and meaty flavors of the beef and broth with lots of depth from the spices and base vegetables.

This chili recipe might be ready for competition.

Eat well, cook often ...

Black and Red Chili

Serves 12 to 15; 3 hours
5 lbs Ground beef
2 C Red onion, diced
2 C Red pepper, diced
1/2 C Jalapéno, seeded, diced
1/4 C Garlic minced
6 C Beef broth
2 Cans Black beans (15 oz)
1 Can Crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1/4 C Chili powder
2 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Mexican oregano

Brown ground beef
In a large soup pot over medium-high heat cook ground beef until brown and fat has rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a bowl and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the liquid.

Make chili
In drippings left in pan, sauté onion, red pepper and jalapéno until soft 3 to 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add reserved beef, broth, black beans, crushed tomato, chili powder, cumin and Mexican oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours allowing mixture to reduce by a quarter. Remove from heat and serve.

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