This isn't your Mama's chili...
Below is a recipe I threw together one night a few months ago. It worked pretty well, I have made a few changes since the first post.
The goal was a thick beefy chili, with every bite a chunk of tender meat, wrapped in a meat mixture that was not only meaty but loaded with flavor.
The chunks in this chili are 3/4 to 1" thick stew beef that has been slow cooked for 2+ hours in wine, garlic & onions, with a touch of seasoning.
3 lbs stew beef chopped into 1" cubes trim any excessive fat off.
2 lbs hamburger
2 c chopped onions (I used 3 med )
1/2 c very fine chopped carrots (I used 3 large stalks)
3/4 c very fine chopped celery
1/3 c minced garlic (I actually used more)
1 - chopped bell pepper
1-2 tbsp red pepper flakes
3/4 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp Steak Seasoning..
1-2 tbsp kosher salt
1-2 c red wine
2 tbsp chili powder (you can use more, but you don't want it to overpower)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp Mexican or taco seasoning (see below for my taco seasoning)
2 tbsp Worcestershire
2 15 oz crushed or diced stewed tomatoes
1 6oz tomato paste
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1.5 15oz can water (seasoned with 2 tbsp beef base or 3 bullion cubes)
2-3 cups of Beef stock (unsalted or low sodium)
1/2 c of olive
Jalapeno pepper or two
Using a food processer, grind to fine chop carrots, celery, (this is important, you want the pieces small enough that they almost dissolve after hours of cooking.)
1st you will need a 2 large pots. (1 pot to cook stew beef, 2nd for Ground beef sofrito), both pots will be cooking at same time.
Stew Beef cooking about 2 to 2.5 hours (stir frequently)
In pot add 1/3 of garlic, and onion, slightly cook and stir till onion is translusent, remove a reserve. Add stew beef, 1/3 salt & pepper, steak seasoning, turn up heat slight and brown meat. When meat is browned, reduce heat, drain off half the fat. Return reserved onion & garlic to pot and add:
-1 tbsp of Taco Seasoning, -1 tbsp Worcestershire, -1/2 of red wine, - 1/2 red pepper flakes, and a few dashes of Steak Seasoning..
- scrape and loosen any meat bits from bottom of pan. - Add wine or beef broth to bring liquid up to cover meat.
As you cook and stir the meat mixture will thicken, add more wine or broth to keep it liquidy. About 1 to 1.5 hour after start, add 1/2 can tomato paste, maybe some more wine. At about 2 hours you want to reduce almost all the liquid back to a watery paste. The meat is still somewhat tough but chewy.
• In 2nd pot, 1/2 olive oil saute, 1/3 garlic, all the onion, carrots, bell pepper, celery, season with some of the salt and pepper. When slightly tender, remove and strain the oil, return oil to the same pot. Reserve the cooked veggies.
• In the 2nd pot while stew beef pot is going. Add rest of olive oil & reserved oil from veggies, 1 tbsp of garlic, stir for a min. then add hamburger meat, season with salt & pepper & 1/4 taco seasoning, steak seasoning. Cook until ground beef meat is completely brown and most of the fat is rendered out. Drain off the oil and fat, reserve 1/4 cup and return to pot with ground beef, add last 1/4 cup of olive oil, all the cooked veggies from earlier, add enough wine and broth to bring liquid to top or slightly cover meat mixture.
- 2 cans of crushed or diced tomatoes,
- 1 can of tomato paste,
- 1/3 cup red wine
- Italian seasoning
- Chili powder
- Taco seasoning 1tbsp
- Salt and Pepper
- beef stock
Cook with a slight simmer. 2 hours. (Stir Frequently)
If too much liquid turn up heat and reduce, get down to a watery spaghetti meat sauce like texture, but still some liquid (when combining with stew meat the last reductiion will remove the liquid).
For both the stew beef, and the meat sofrito taste and adjust seasoning as you cook, since this is slow cooking you can't do much adjusting at the end, because it will just taste like something with seasoning thrown on top, rather than cooked in.
2 - 2.5 hours into cooking combine both Stew Beef and meat sofrito.
I combine the meat Sofrito and Stew Beef when stew beef is now getting more tender, and will take another hour to be completely tender. 1st skim any excess fat in the meat sofrito. Adjust seasoning here, mostly salt & pepper, but if you think it needs something more now is the time to add it. Add wine or beef broth to make it liquidy which will reduce during this last hour of cooking
Cook for about another hour, or until stew beef is completely tender.
If after another hour low simmer cooking, it is too watery turn up heat and reduce but stir frequently or you will have stuff sticking to bottom of pan. Look for oil around the edges of the mixture. If too much make a slurry with Cornstarch and add to chili, it will thick and absorb some of the oil. If you have a lot of oil then skim as much as possible off.
Quick Home Taco Seasoning:
The coarser ingredients I grind
5 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
3 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp dried oregano
1.5 tbsp paprika
1.5 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp kosher salt
3 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1.5 tbsp tablespoons cornstarch
Edited by deltadude - 12/12/10 at 1:43pm