Over here at Collver Inc., we have some chili problems though...I don't like beans, Aaron does and Aaron doesn't like spicy foods but I do. I've spent some time checking out lots of different recipes, experimented with a couple and have come up with one that I wanted to test drive today. It's a mix of a couple recipes from my Cook's Illustrated and Best of Bridge Slow Cooker cookbooks. Another thing I wanted to try out today was using the whole dried chilis I have, I've never cooked with them before and figured chili would be a good way to start.
Well, here I go, an experiment that I hope turns out for the good:)
Chili Con Carrie (Attempt 1)
1 Lb Extra Lean Ground Beef
2 Mild Italian Sausages, casings removed, pinched into bite size pieces
5 Slices Bacon, cut into 1" pieces
2 Medium Onions
5 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 28 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes with Juice
1 19 oz. Can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 Cup Chicken Broth
2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Cornmeal
1 1/2 Tbsp Epicure's Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
1 Tsp Epicure's Ground Coriander
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Whole Dried Chilis
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp Epicure's Masa Harina
1/3 Cup Water
To start things off, I removed the stems and seeds from the dried chilis, this is where a lot of the heat is stored so that won't do, but if you like the spice, save some of the seeds for a kick of heat. Once everything was out, I tore them up into smaller pieces and put them in a large skillet over medium-high heat to toast them, stirring frequently so they don't burn, it'll turn them bitter, and toasted them for about 4 minutes. If they start to smoke, turn down the heat, you just want them to soften up a bit and start to be fragrant. Once they're done, I threw them in my food processor to cool down.
|This is where the major heat|
from a chili comes from
While waiting for the chilis to cool down, I started cooking the meats. First up was the bacon, the skillet I used for chilis, heat it over medium-high heat and add the bacon. I wanted it to brown up and start to crisp so stirring it frequently I let it cook for about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon I transferred it to my slow cooker and then added the sausage and browned it for about 2-3 minutes. Again with the slotted spoon it went into the slow cooker. Next up was the ground beef. I added it to the pan an broke it up into small pieces while it was cooking, about 4-5 minutes.
|Browning the sausage|
I poured the mixture over the meats and added the beans and lime juice. Then I gave it a good stir and put the cover on. I cooked it on high for 5 hours but you could also do it for 6-8 hours on low heat.
About an hour and a half into cooking I had a little taste test. There was a big bite:) It cleared my sinuses and they didn't need clearing...Aaron definitely wouldn't be able to take it and neither would the kids, so I added another 2 1/2 Tbsp of Brown Sugar and a half a cup of water.
About 20 minutes before serving I mixed the Masa Harina with the water and then added it to the chili to thicken it up a bit and then tossed in the chopped up Red Bell Pepper. I had given it another taste test just before adding the peppers and Masa Harina paste and again, it was hot, so I added a 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar and a 1/2 Tbsp of White Sugar.
|I LOVE Cornbread:)|
|It looks good...but it'll clear your sinuses, |
a little too much heat :(
If you like your chili with a good bite, this one's for you...if not, I'll let you know how the "toned down" version is when I make it.