Chili for all!!!
I have a great way to make chili that accomodates the following tastes: Meatless, With meat, nicely spicy and with a seperate salsa that will make every individual bowl anything from mild to "You gotta be Kiddin"! depending on your situation. You can do it all as you go along. I start with dried beans and divide portions for various tastes as I go along. The ingredient amounts are non-specific because you taste as you go.
- 2 lb
- dried beans red kidney,or mix pinto etc
- 1 lb
- ground beef
- 1 lb
- london cubed small 1/2 in
- 1 can(s)
- large can tomato puree
- chili powder, cumin, salt, red pepper (i use fresh garlic also)
- 1 lb
- shredded nacho cheese
1For the beans
empty beans on a counter top and search for any small stones. Rinse beans in a colander.
In a small sauce pan Heat 1 quart of water and add 1 tablespoon of each Chili powder, cumin, red pepper and several cloves , also feel free to ad a medium size minced onion. Boil the water until the spices are infused throughout the water and the mixture smells strong.Allow the mixture to cool. Rinse beans and cover with cool water. Then add the spiced water mixture and stir. Cover and allow to sit several hours. I let my batch sit over night. This process infuses the spices into every bean.
2For the meat:
Cube the london broil (or other slightly marbled meat)and place the cubes in a zip lock bag with a nice coating of the spices. Shake the bag around and place in the fridge overnight. The ground beef is to be cooked shortly after the beans have started cooking.
3Cooking: you can start cooking after 3-4 hours of soaking the beans but I prefer to let them absorb the spiced water overnight. Drain the spiced water and cover the beans with fresh warm water add the spices once again. The draining removes much of the starch. When the water starts to boil lower to a simmer and add the tomato puree. For meatless chili you can add carrots, corn, celery and any of your favorite vegetables.
For the meat lovers: take out the cubed beef
(beef/pork/chicken)and saute until seared. Fry up the ground beef and add to the chili pot. Add the sauteed cubed meat and stir.
Now here is the hard part: Patience!!!
With the chili simmering You can tweak the spice mixture as you go along. Stir gently often to prevent the chili from sticking to the pan.
While the chili cooks you can prepare the salsa.
4Salsa: My salsa recipe is designed to lift the spice factor by degrees. 1 tablespoon is a nice boost, 2 spoons is hot, after 3 spoons you're on your own. You can keep it simple or go hog wild, whatever you like.
I use fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, chili powder,cumin, garlic,red pepper,salt and onions if you like them. I don't use vinegar based hot sauce because I want to avoid flavor conflict. If you like vinegar based hot sauce then pour it on. I mix up a batch of about a pint or so and refrigerate it until ready to serve.
5When the chili is ready (the beans are cooked but not mushy)Ladle into a bowl sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Enjoy with crackers or nacho chips and don't forget to experiment with the salsa.
Hope you like it.