Friday, November 30, 2007

Chili time

(EDIT: for the record, I had my Chili blog post planned waaay before today's Yahoo feature on Lamb Chili. So they're the copycats, not me.)

Hm. Weather Channel says today's High is 26. It's snowing a couple times a week now, and the days keep getting darker for about another month.

It's way past time to post some Chili recipes.

Joey's Chili - very, very spicy
2 # ground beef
large can of your favorite salsa, the spicier, the better.
Brown ground beef, drain. Return to pot, add salsa, simmer for 30 minutes.

Everyday Chili - mild
1 # ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 28-oz can stewed tomatoes, with salt
1 16 ounce can beans
1 packet pre-measured "mild" chili seasoning from the grocery store.
1 can beer (optional)
brown beef and onion together. Drain. Return to pot, add chili seasoning, beans, tomatoes, and about half the beer. Drink the other half. Simmer for about a half an hour.

Savory Chili - mild to medium. This is my favorite chili, adapted from an old cookbook recipe.
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound bulk Italian sausage - NOT breakfast sausage
2 cups shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Chili powder1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
4 cups canned beef stock
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can tomatoes
cayenne pepper to taste

Brown beef and sausage with garlic and shallots. Drain, then return to pot. Add spices, and tomato paste, and stir for a few minutes to let the spices get fragrant and to let the tomato paste brown a bit. Add the beef stock and tomatoes. Simmer for at least a half hour.


Stupid Reality said...

Nice - good chilli is just fantastic.
I've actually started using coarsely diced up chuck steak in chilli rather than the ground beef, and also add a slug of vinegar(white if nothing else but apple vinegars and stuff are interesting too) and some zested lime rind (towards the end - after the meat has softened). I leave it to stew for quite a while and the steak eventually just falls apart. The vinegar helps in the softening process and along with the lime provides a bit of an edge to the chilli seasoning.

Do you eat your chilli with anything? Bread? Rice? Corn chips? I'm never quite sure what to have...

The musishian said...


I prefer either home-baked white bread or corn bread with chili. I've had a hard time finding a good corn bread recipe, though.

Corn chips work in a pinch. I've never had rice with chili, but I'm sure it would be tasty.

I do like putting lots of cheese and sour cream into my chili. Helps to take the edge of one that's very spicy.

The musishian said...

Forgot to say: Sounds like some very interesting additions to your chili. I may try the lime zest idea...

Stupid Reality said...

When I have it with rice, I do the Spanish kind where you fry the raw ice in a little olive oil until it colors and then cook it by incrementally adding water to the rice(can use chicken stock and garlic if keen)like paella - comes up a little crispier and with more character from the toasting.

Hmm, you'll have to tell me all about cornbread some time, we don't really have it in Australia. Does it have something to do with polenta?

The musishian said...

Yes, in a way. Polenta and cornmeal are pretty much the same thing: ground, dried corn.

Where polenta is made by stirring the cornmeal into boiling water, Cornbread is bread baked from the cornmeal.

There are lots of different styles of cornbread. Most are quick-breads, using baking soda or powder for leavening rather than yeast.

Usually, some proportion of wheat flour is added, along with salt, and fat. Maybe an egg or two. Cornbread can be very dry, coarse, and savory. If sugar and a large proportion of wheat flour are added, can be light and sweet, almost like a yellow cake.

I didn't realize how different cooking can be across cultures, even the ones that (ostensibly) speak the same language. Might make for a neat blog post later on.