Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chili to Calm the Spirit

     Grant asked for some chili this week, so I found a new recipe to try out: Dragon's Breath Chili from the Food Network. I was initially intrigued by the recipe because it calls for three different types of meat.

Dragon's Breath Chili

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease, or canola oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 jalapenos, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
  • 3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 head garlic, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 pound boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds ground beef, coarse grind (I used 1 lb, b/c I didn't have room)
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 12 ounces lager beer
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans pinto beans, with juice
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans kidney beans, with juice
  • Saltine crackers, for garnish
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar

     There is probably a better way to do this, but to prepare the peppers, I put them on my small grill pan since I don't have a grill, and I grilled them for approximately 10 minutes (turn them over and allow each side to begin to blister). I didn't have a paper bag to put the peppers into so I just put them into a bowl and covered it to allow them to steam so the skin would separate. After 5 minutes or so, I peeled the skin off and chopped them up. I left the seeds in because we like it hot, and it wasn't really hot at all.

     In large stock pot over high heat, add butter and bacon grease (I just used canola oil). Add bell pepper, jalapeno, chiles and onion and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute longer. Add chuck and brown. Add ground beef and sausage to brown and stir gently, trying not to break up the ground beef too much. Cook until meat is nicely browned and cooked through, about 7 to10 minutes. Add in granulated onions, granulated garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add in tomato sauce and paste and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in beer and chicken stock. Add beans, lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.
     Garnish with green onions and shredded Cheddar. (I also added sour cream!)

     I did things a little different b/c I wasn't sure if I was able to fit everything into my pot. I browned everything up and put it in my crock pot to let it heat through. I accidentally added a little too much of the booze, so I added it back into my pot to cook off some of the boozy flavor.

     I also didn't add 1 can of kidney beans, 1 cup of tomato sauce, and 1/2 cup chicken broth, simply b/c I didn't have the space in my pot.

Verdict: 4/5
     I thought this was super good. I wish I had had a big enough pot to put the rest of the beans, tomato sauce, and broth in. But, even without it, it was still really tasty. Once the boozy flavor cooked off, it was much better. I really liked the 3 different meats in it, it made for a very layered, rich texture and flavor. It wasn't as spicy as I had hoped, even though I added the seeds of both jalapenos. Next time, I might need to add an extra. For intense flavor, I always add more seasoning than it calls for. Again, I'm a big proponent of seasoning the meat and letting it cook for a while before I add the liquids; so instead of just 1 minute, I cook it closer to 5 minutes to really crisp up the ground meat and let the flavors absorb! And then, I added more seasoning once I added the liquids.
The recipe called for serving the chili over french fries, which sounded outstanding, (another idea was macaroni) but I thought that might be a little much taking into account my previous post. My plan was to split a baked potato and serve the chili over that, but I forgot to get one at the store. Instead, we ate the chili alone, but the flavor stood out on it's own and did great.


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