OK, so every so often I make chili. It's the greatest guy food I can think of and it's extremely forgiving when it comes to preparation, which I like a lot. I make a new variation every once in a while, so I thought I'd share my newest recipe:
8 oz. Olive oil (EV)
2 Large white onions
6 Cloves of garlic
2 lbs Stewed beef, chuck or round
1 lb Pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb Chorizo
2 Jalepenos, seeded and diced
1 Poblano, seeded and diced
2 Chipotles in adobo (unseeded)
5 tbls Chili powder (Haven't made my own due to lack of access to peppers)
2 tbls Ancho chili powder
2 tbls Mexican oregano (the only thing I'll ever put oregano in)
1.5 tbls Cumin
1 tbls Brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbls freshly chopped cilantro
1.5 tbls unsweetened cocoa
2 12 oz. beer (or more) - Hoppy/Amber ale; my favorite: Rogue Smoke Ale
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
Yes, it's a lot of stuff and that's part of the fun. I haven't entered any contests yet, but I'm almost positive I could win in my local, small town... although they have a chili cookoff every year, the mildest variation always wins.
The beer is important and there's been a lot of debate over what kind of beer is best in chili. Some say a hoppy amber is best; others say a dark porter or stout. Others still claim middle of road ales (Alton Brown for one). I like all those ideas... except the dark beers. They're too malty, although overly hoppy beers give chili an herbal taste you don't want. "Middle of the road" ale is probably the safest bet, but my personal favorite: Rogue Smoked Ale. There are other smoked ales that would work, but Rogue's is the one I have access to, so that's the one I use. It's perfect. Arrogant Basterd, as hoppy as it is, apparently makes a great chili as well.
As for beans, I'm a northeasterner so I don't know squat about chili, but I know this; I like my chili without beans. End of story.
There seem to be two types of chili bases; red and brown. Red based chilis are made with tomatoes and tomato sauce. Brown-based are made with stock. I like tomatoes because I'm Italian and, well, tomatoes are a nice natural sweetener when diced up. I still add brown sugar though, which helps offset some of the spiciness I get from the combination of Jalepenos, Poblanos and chipotles. I seed most of the peppers though which makes them mostly mild. The spiciness comes from the chili powders and the chipotles (which I leave seeded).
And here's the finishing touch... thickness. Most chili's rely on the beans to provide a nice thickness but I don't use beans so this is what I do.
Too thin: add Masa harina (a Spanish cornmeal)
Too thick: add strong coffee
Simple as that. I'll finalize the recipe once I actually make it. The beef and pork are currently marinating in 3 tbls olive oil and 2 tbls chili powder.