Just few sunny days of promising spring, and we got back cold, chill and rain here in Connecticut. From opened windows back to turning up the heat… well, the winter is not giving up that easily. Today, when I am writing this, I feel like huddling up around our fireplace, having a bowl of some comfort food.
That brought my thoughts to my all times favorite that never disappoints – chili. I know there is a discussion if beans belong to the truth chili, chunks of meat or ground meat – it’s totally up to you. This is my favorite recipe for one lazy Sunday, when you have time to let cook your dinner on the stove for 2 hours.
My best chili recipe
When my friend saw that I use a chocolate in my chili recipe, she freaked out a little. Than she tasted it, trying to detect the chocolate, her favorite food, in it. I don’t think she did, but she sure loved the richness of this chili. I never used black beans before but it gives it a great flavor.
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 2 red onions, chopped or 1 large
• 1 green bell pepper chopped
• 1 red bell pepper chopped • 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 lb lean ground beef (I used bison)
• 2 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 1 bottle of dark beer (any)
• 1 cup of strong coffee (I used espresso)
• 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
• 3 cups beef broth
• 1 small bar of dark chocolate – I used Chirardelli’s 60% cacao, 375 oz.)
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon dry oregano
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon salt (season at the end, by personal taste)
• 3 (15 oz.) cans of kidney beans (black and/or red)
• 2 green chili peppers, chopped (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)
Cook the ground meat in heavy duty large pan on medium heat, until brown, splitting it apart with a wooden spoon.
Take out the meat and leave it on the side. Add a little bit of olive oil into the same pan, add onions and garlic. When the onions are softer, add all the dry spices to release their aroma and mix together.
Add chopped peppers and chili peppers to the mix. Turn down the heat , stir and let cook on low heat for a few minutes.
Return browned meat to this mixture. Add tomatoes with liquid, beer, coffee, chocolate, sugar, tomato paste and beef broth. Mix together and bring to boil. Stir in 3 cans of beans (drained and washed in colander with running water).
When reached boiling point, reduce the heat back to very low, cover the pan and let slowly simmer for 1 and half to 2 hours so all the flavors could merry together. Season with the salt at the end, if needed
Serve with a scoop of sour cream and favorite tortilla chips.
Wine pairing suggestion:
I know, when I have chili, I feel like Corona with a lime. I am not big on beer but some dishes just taste better with it. I also tried it with red wine – looking for something a bit spicy, not too oaky – and Spanish was actually pairing pretty well with chili.
Let me know what was your preference!