Recently my wife’s office held their annual chili contest. For some reason, this year it was imperative that she bring in an entry and since I am the one who cooks, the pressure was on. I won fifteen bucks for second prize which was promptly used to contribute for my daughter’s teacher’s baby shower gift. Apparently her co-workers chose the super spicy chili <humor> supporting my view that government workers are masochists given that they chose pain over flavor.</humor>
I apologize for the lack of a picture, but the entire batch of chili I made ended up going to the office. Even the tiny little bit I had set aside for my lunch the next day.
I have been messing with this chili recipe for about 4 years. It was originally from Gourmet magazine but through the years it has seen many permutations of meats (80-20 ground beef, pork/beef, pork/buffalo, etc.) and I swapped out the beef broth for beers starting with standard IPA and moving through a variety of other beers (usually whatever happened to be in the fridge at the time). One time, I had a half of a 22 oz. coffee stout which I had used for an Irish beef stew. As a drink, I’m not particularly fond of stouts, and I’m even less fond of coffee stouts. However, as a cooking ingredient, coffee stout has a lot of flavor, low alcohol content, and a nice bitter note that works well with the richness of beef based stew kind of things like chili.
I also swapped out chili peppers for Berber, a north east African spice mix that should be available at most super markets. It adds spiciness and an extra punch of flavor.
- Big ass pot, preferably a heavy bottomed stainless steel stock pot or a cast iron pot. Must be at least 8 qts. and must have a lid.
- Measuring stuff
- Large bowl
- Food processor
- Wooden spoon with a long handle
- Containers for freezing. I look for 1 qt. cube shaped containers for efficient freezer space management. Yes, I am a dork.
- 3 lb Brisket
- 4 Carrots, sliced into .25″ thick discs
- 2 large onions, roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
- .25 cup vegetable oil
- .25 cup Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon berber
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 28 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1.25 cups coffee stout (yes, the beer)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 19 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 green bell peppers, roughly chopped
Time: about an hour and a half of cooking
Yield: Enough for about 12 meals when served with rice/pasta/cornbread.
- Cut the brisket into 1-2″ cubes and put it in the large bowl
- Put it in the freezer for about an hour
- Remove it from the freezer and put it in the food processor
- Pulse process until brisket has the consistency of rough sausage.
- Put the big ass pot on the stove over medium hot heat (I use #5 on our biggest burner)
- When the pot is hot (don’t actually touch the pot, just hold your hand near the bottom), put the oil in the pot and let it heat up for a minute or so.
- Throw the onions in the pot and cook until they are softened, stirring occasionally. This should probably take about 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the brisket and mix everything together. Cook the brisket until there is no more pink meat.
- Add the spices (everything from, and including chili powder through berber in the ingredients list) and stir them in. Let the mixture cook for about a minute after it’s all mixed together.
- Add the tomato paste, the tomatoes, the beer, and the cider vinegar and stir thoroughly.
- Bring everything to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to low (between 2 and 3 on our stove), cover, and let it simmer for 50 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Add the kidney beans and green peppers, stir, and let everything simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Eat what you want, freeze the rest in 1 qt. containers. A 1qt container will give you 4 normal portions if you serve it over something starchy or two portions without any sides.