Monday, 24 September 2012

Fiery Texas Chili - served two ways!

 Mike Adams a friend of mine just moved to Dallas recently and it made me think of Texas Chili! YUM.
Texas Chili is different from your average chili for a few reasons. It is made with chunks of beef instead of ground and normally there are no beans and no tomato sauce in it. 

 I made this chili yesterday in the crock pot and it was truly spectacular! It was hotter than my normal chili (my friends Randy and Martine would love it because it was so good and hot -  although they would probably still want it even hotter!) however, it was so rounded and delicious that it wasn't stupid hot, so your average human couldn't eat it. 

I have added a variety of fresh chilies that I roasted and I added a bit of chocolate and honey right at the end which made it very dark and rich. I also found that if you used it in a soft taco the other ingredients tamed the heat a bit.  

Big Pete went nuts! He thought it was the best chili I have ever made, and that's saying something cause I have made plenty of good chili's in my day.

 You have gotta make this one! Get yourself some great quality meat (like they sell at Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford BC! man I miss that store.) and do the prep the night before and turn on the crock pot in the morning for a crazy good dinner.

You will need:

 for 2 greedy people or 3-4 normal humans especially if you make tacos it goes farther .

  • 2 lbs of good quality beef -I have used Sirloin 
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic chopped fine
  • 6-8 chilies - a variety of difference chilies (normally dry are used but I found a medley of hot peppers in a package and thought this would be a good place to use them) 
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1- 2 tbsp chili powder (mine was ancho chili powder)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 heaping tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes (this is not normal but, it was some extra moisture and flavour.)
  • 3 tbsp honey (add just before serving)
  • 2 squares of good dark chocolate (I used Lindt dark salted chocolate- available in any grocery store)

Start with a good quality piece of Sirloin you can either buy it in cubes or in a large piece and you can cut your own. I went to a small butcher in my area that had some nice looking cubed.

Step 1: in a dry pan toast your chilies until they are black and soft. I was going to roast them right on my gas stove like they do on TV but, they were too small and would fall right through! Maybe another time with some bigger peppers. I have 6 of the peppers I bought in a package of mixed hot peppers and 2 jalapenos and 2 small sweet red peppers. This may take 5-10 minutes. Once they are done put them in a bowl and put plastic wrap over them for a few minutes to get them to sweat. Once they are softened peel off the skin, pull of stem and remove seeds from the insides. Then chopped finely. If you  want to add more heat leave the seeds. Mine was perfect without the seeds and it was plenty hot.

Step 2: Pat meat dry with paper towels and sear on high heat with some olive oil to develop a bit of carmelization. Heat the pan and add oil at the last second before the meat. I have also added a bit of pepper to meat. Not a good photo but, the meat was browned on at least 2 sides. Remove from pan and add to crock pot.

Step 3: in the pan you cooked the meat add some more olive oil and saute your onions to remove all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Never leave all that flavour. Once the onion starts to brown add the garlic and the chopped tomato. Cook for a minute to make sure the pan gets cleaned. Add everything to crock pot with meat. The 2 tomatoes adds a bit more moisture without adding too much even though it is not traditional to Texas Chili. It's just a little cheat.

Step 4: add all spices: cumin, pepper, chili powder, dried oregano, cinnamon and brown sugar. If you want to really do it right you can use whole spices and grind them fresh and toast them by adding them to the garlic and onions to bloom. You will notice that there is not a lot of liquid in the crock pot and you don't need much since the meat also has moisture in it. Turn on the crock pot and cook 4 hours on high or longer and lower if you prefer.

Step 5: just before serving add 2 pieces of chocolate and the honey. Mix and serve as a chili with your favourite toppings. You can add guacamole, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped onion etc.  It is a rich almost black sauce and you can leave the meat in big chunks or break it apart slightly for more of a pulled beef look.

Big Pete loved it in a bowl 

I loved it as a soft taco with deep rich flavour and lots of heat.

I have to say we were the two greedy people that ate the whole thing!! WOW.

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