It's nearly the first day of fall, it's raining, it's Sunday...hey, I know: let's whip up some chili!
I've been making this recipe, which I adapted slightly from the one in Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen, for a few years now, and it truly is a labor of love. You will need to set aside six hours to prepare it.
(My comments are in italics.)INGREDIENTS
- 3 pounds beef shoulder, cut into large cubes <-- If shoulder is not available to you (I've only been able to find it one time), go with stew meat, which is already cut into large cubes).
- salt and pepper
- 2 onions, diced <-- The one I had today was bigger than a softball, so I just used that.
- 10 garlic cloves, minced <--sorry
- 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped <--tiny
- 2 T chili powder
- 1 T ancho chili powder <-- Tyler wanted me to get 2 dried anchos and grind them up, which I would have done, but alas, those are not available to me.
- 2 T ground coriander
- 1 T ground cumin
- 1 T sweet paprika
- 1 T dried oregano
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1 t sugar
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes <--Tyler calls for whole tomates, undrained, but some people don't like the way big pieces of tomato feel in their mouths, and I am not one of those people.
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained <--Tyler wants you to use two, but that's a lot of beans, mister.
- 1/4 C cornmeal <-- I know! Weird! Do it anyway!
- 1 T grated unsweetened chocolate <-- Ditto!
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Saltine crackers or tortilla chips, etc.
Season the beef shoulder all over with salt and pepper then put it in a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch, about 3 quarts, and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil (this will take a long time, during which you can chop all the vegetables) and skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
This chore is gross. You will start to resent the meat for being so gross. It will seem like there is no end to this freaking foam, especially when you give this thing a stir and a lot more rises to the surface. I use one of those wide metal straining spoons--it removed the foam without taking out too much liquid. I put the foam in a bowl, let it cool, dumped it into a Ziploc bag, threw it away, and tried not to think about it too much.
Pour in the entire can of tomatoes along with the tomato paste. Simmer for about 2 hours. As it cooks down, add more water if necessary. (It's never been necessary for me.) After the chili has cooked a couple of hours, take a slotted spoon and fish out the chunks of meat. Put them in a bowl and, tediously, shred the pieces by hand or with forks and return the meat to the soup pot. Tyler says you can shred the meat while it's still in the pot simply by "beat[ing] it vigorously so the meat shreds apart." Uh, I've never been able to do this, T.
Add the next layer of flavor by stirring in the beans and cornmeal. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.
Also today Jeff made fantastic oatmeal raspberry scones for breakfast (recipe by Joy the Baker):