Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ensayo Chili

I love New Years. It's one of my most favorite holidays. Probably my second favorite. Thanksgiving is my favorite,obviously. It is all about the food. None of this stressful decorating/present wrapping nonsense. If you couldn't have gotten that right on a quiz about me you haven't been paying attention. I love the promise that a new year brings, the potential for anything to happen. I love new lists and goals- I love new starts. This year one of my resolutions was to branch out in my cooking more from Italian, which is my go to. I could experiment with pasta sauces for the next fifteen years. On January 1st I made a stuffed pork loin. Not worth the effort at all. On January 2nd, I made this chili. It was super fun to concoct and delicious! Don't be freaked out by the number of ingredients, it's not overly difficult. If the adobo pepper process freaks you out, I'll give you an alternate because that's a silly thing to stop you from eating this deliciousness.

If you are kind of a rookie, maybe do this adobo prep the day before to avoid getting overwhelmed and giving up. It isn't hard but it is a little time consuming. I did the whole can at once so I don't have pictures, because in January I wasn't blogging. I know. Can all 5 of you imagine not being able to read this blog?? Your poor, sad lives. BUT it was soooo nice today to just pull the ziploc bag out of the freezer and do zero work. I should have put this paragraph below my explanation but I was afraid my less adventurous ones would just give up and stop reading. DON'T.

Buy one can of chipotle chiles in adobo. Wear gloves. Pull out the chiles, slice them open, and get the seeds out. If I remember correctly (keep in mind this was 10 months ago) I used a paper towel to kind of wipe the seeds out. Put all the sauce and seeded chiles in a food processor and puree. Done! Now just freeze in a ziploc bag and you can break off chunks of your icey chile peppers whenever you need it! If this absolutely freaks you out I GUESS just use some dried crushed red pepper but just don't freak out okay?? You can handle this. It's just not that big of a deal. And later you can just all casual to a friend be like, "yeah I just keep my chipotle chiles pureed in the freezer for when I need them" and sound like a total foodie. 

Now. Time for the ACTUAL recipe. This is a big big batch. You could half it for a small crowd. But why? Just freeze the leftovers for next time you're tired. 

2 tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 jalepeno, pretty finely chopped
6 cups beef stock (I use bullion cubes. I made 6 cups like the instructions say, but then add one extra cube to make it richer)
2 tbsp oil (corn, vegetable, olive, it doesn't matter)
12 oz bacon, chopped
4 lb of ground beef
1/2 c Worcestershire

8 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 small onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp cumin
3 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 dashes of cinnamon

24 oz Negra Modelo beer or some other dark beer

28-30oz diced tomatoes, not drained
6 tbsp cornmeal
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp lime juice

Chop EVERYTHING before you start. In a saucepot, heat the beef stock, jalepeno and chipotle puree until it starts to simmer. Turn down to low and let it do its thing while you work.
Simmering peppers in beef stock

Note: I am the world's biggest baby about spicy food and scary movies. If you love spicy, this is not the recipe for you. Increase your chipotle if you're one of those weirdos who likes their lips to feel like they've been pricked by a thousand tiny needles.

In your biggest soup pot, heat the oil over medium and once it's hot, add the chopped bacon. You don't need it to get crispy, just done, because it's kind of going to disappear in the chili anyway. Just get it cooked through. Next, add the ground beef, salt and pepper to taste, and Worcestershire at the same time. Cook it through. You may have to drain it, you may not. It just depends on how much grease is in it. Use your judgement.
Making meat look not gross is impossible.

I'm sorry.
Turn your heat down to medium low, add everything from garlic to cinnamon. See how I conveniently grouped the ingredients for you? I'm so thoughtful. Cook everything until the onions get soft.
Chopped onions and garlic.
I am absolutely immune to the smell of raw onions. But I promise you, this one blew my mind. Eyes burning as if I'd been sprayed with pepper spray. I was turning my head away and making faces as if I was being operated on with no anesthesia. And I know you love the embarrassing pictures. I mean who wouldn't want to see my hair like this? Sorry you can't see how much eyes are watering but this was my face of pure pain. This is how I appear any given Saturday. #blessed

Next, add the beer and turn up the heat to medium high. Let it reduce down a little. There is no science to this, you could skip reducing altogether and it would be fine.
Kroger is not paying me to advertise their honey.

After reducing, add everything in the last set of ingredients. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes.

My Aunt Pam taught me a super cool trick for measuring honey.Spray the measuring spoon with cooking spray. I really wanted to make a pun with Pam since it's my aunt's name but I'll spare you. The honey just slides right out! I was amazed. But I'm pretty easily amazed. I like to think of it as endearing and not silly.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, or serve over chips. Get crazy. Go with your gut.  I prefer just cheese but you can eat whatever makes you happy.

Enjoy your deliciousness. Freeze your leftovers if there are any.

So this particular resolution yielded an awesome recipe. Only two more months until we get to make them all again! What's a resolution you've kept??

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