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stoppingby4now

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Great time of year for chili.... I have mad two batches already. I like a thin sauce with lots of chunks of meat (bison is great), tomatoes, beans, onions and peppers ... lots of garlic, cumin and chillies. Served in a big bowl over a couple small scoops of Indian Basmati rice. Yum

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Great time of year for chili.... I have mad two batches already. I like a thin sauce with lots of chunks of meat (bison is great)' date=' tomatoes, beans, onions and peppers ... lots of garlic, cumin and chillies. Served in a big bowl over a couple small scoops of Indian Basmati rice. Yum[/quote']

I'm with you nearly 100% there, except I don't use beans. I'm also a Garlic-holic. For tomatoes, I do use organic canned diced tomatoes from a great company with chipotle chilis. Also add some salt, paprika, celery, carrots (adds a hint of sweetness), and chipotle and chili powder.

Those sound amazing' date=' if only they'd survive 3-day shipping... I've only had Bison once, but I think it's at least as good as Cow.[/quote']

If I knew of any way to be able to package some up safely, I'd send you some.

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Those sound amazing' date=' if only they'd survive 3-day shipping... I've only had Bison once' date=' but I think it's at least as good as Cow.[/quote'']

If I knew of any way to be able to package some up safely, I'd send you some.

just need a small null-entropy chamber :P

 

RE Bison: Bison is leaner than beef, but flavor depends on what they are eating. A July bison that has been grazing on fresh grass should taste nice, but I would prefer to compare a nice porterhouse or strip steak from each. beef usually tastes good due to the corn-fed diet. Bison tastes better to me, because I enjoy a more hearty and natural flavor, and it just tastes better to me when I know that it is environmentally friendly.

 

A fantastic 'red' meat is actually ostrich. Much like beef tenderloin.

 

Meat only imparts a subtle flavor to chili, so texture is what matters most for that (IMO).

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One of the great things about Chili is it's very simple, and easily customized. I use a slow cooker, as you can just set it on low when you go to work/school and dig in when you get home (and you can make all sorts of soups this way). You can get a 2 quart Rival for around $10 at Walmart, or a 4 quart CrockPot for about $17 I think. You don't need all those fancy electronics with timers, etc. They jack up the price and introduce another failure point (I'm still using a 4 quart slow cooker that is over 2 decades old and still going strong). All you need is a 3 position switch for Off-Low-High.

 

The following is my base that I use in a 4 quart, and you can cut everything in half for a 2 quart.

 

2 lbs ground beef (I use Bison from my very own backyard in Colorado).

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 cans of diced tomatoes (you can chop them yourself, I just go the easy route here as it also has plenty of juice. I use Diced canned tomatoes from Muir Glenn Organics, and they have all sorts of varieties from plain, to garlic, chipotle peppers, etc.).

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp chipotle powder (this will add some heat, so if you want it mild just go with 2 tbsp standard chili powder)

1 tbsp chilli powder

 

The carrot and celery are optional. I use celery in almost every soup I make so always have them around, and the carrot adds more nutritional value, and very slightly sweetens. Garlic is also optional, I just love garlic and it has great health benefits. And, if you like beans, you can add those as well, but Z can probably give some pointers in that regard since I don't use them.

 

The main prep will be to heat a large skillet over med-high heat with 1 tbsp olive oil, and saute the onions (and carrot, celery, etc.) till everything gets soft (about 5 - 6 mins). Then I'll add the ground meat in and cook that till it's just browned. Then dump all of that into the slow cooker, add in the canned diced tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Give everything a good stir, set the slow cooker on low, and let it sit for at least 1.5 hours. You don't need to go too long since the meat is already browned. But, the flavors will really develop the longer you let it sit (I shoot for 6 hours).

 

Beyond that, you can add/remove/tweak to your hearts content to find your perfect chili. The above will also not be a thick chili as most folks are used to, but it will be hearty in terms of the meat.

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I don't ever use recipes (cooking for me is like a combination of art and chemistry ... I also grain brew beer, which is much more recipe and process dependent). Here is what I use as a base (all approximations). You can add any number of other things (e.g., your favorite chopped vegetables, but you will need to adjust up all spices to account for the added water):

 

1 lb meat (ground or diced, depending)

1 large onion (chopped any way you like)

1-2 heads of garlic (sliced, diced and/or minced)

1 28-oz can of diced plain tomatoes (use your favorite or you can use fresh, but blanch them in boiling water and skin first)

1 8-16 oz can tomato paste/sauce (depending on if you like think or thin chili)

2 cans diced chilies (preferably fire roasted, hot)

1 pablano pepper (or pick your favorite, as available)

1 16-oz can red kidney beans

2 tbsp chili powder (use McCormick or other top shelf, generic has a bunch of low-grade spices mixed in)

2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp coarse-ground black pepper

salt to taste

 

There are many variations and feel free to add other spices like oregano, coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, unsweetened bakers chocolate, etc. but do so in small amounts to taste (wait 10 min at least) and pick only ONE of these or else it is just like mixing too many colors together ... you just get brown.

 

The real trick is preparation. It is very important to brown the meat with the onions, garlic and fresh peppers. First brown the meat on very high heat in a big pot. Make sure to mix and toss it frequently and don't simply cook it. Really brown it by slightly burning it. This adds a fantastic flavor. You will need to cook all the water out of the meat and the raw vegies before it will begin to brown. Takes about 10-15 minutes on ultra high heat with frequent tossing. Add all of your spices for the last few minutes. This high heat really brings out the spices too.

 

Then add all of the 'wet' ingredients (it should make a lot of noise and steam) and turn the heat down to low-med. Add 1-4 cups of water (supplement with a mild beer if you like). bring it to a light simmer with the cover on and then turn it off and cool for an hour or two... leave the cover on, as this is now a sterile environment, and you could leave this for days this way without spoiling so long as the cover stays on. However, you only need to cool enough so that you can place it in the fridge overnight without warming up everything else in there.

 

Next day, simply reheat the whole pot on low (takes about 30-60 min) and serve optionally over a small pile of rice in a bowl and add some fresh diced jalapenos or serranos and onion or brown some chees over the top in the toaster oven if you like (I don't do cheese with my chili).

 

It should be mild to hot and it will be fantastic, I guarantee, as long as you don't accidentally drop in the salt shaker or half a jar of spice other than cumin or chili powder during prep (those two spices are the main flavor and cannot really ruin your batch if you add too much).

 

Voila!

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Yes, we are way off track on this, although good chili is suspect to improve SU performance ;)

 

Go ahead and move the relevant posts to the gen discussion thread if you want. No sense keeping good chili ideas from the rest of the community :P

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