Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold, Wet Weather = Chili!!!

It has been way too long since I updated this! It has been tough with the holidays and everything in between but I am back and with a new camera to boot!

Elaine and I had some friends over for the Redskin/Seahawk games a couple of weeks back and we decided that a nice big pot of chili would be great at halftime, provided we were winning the game (at that point we were all on pins and needles). If we were not winning the game, the chili would not have tasted as good! Since people were coming over I decided to take the gloves off and get out the good old meat grinder. I have an attachment for my Kitchen Aid that is amazing. If you own a Kitchen Aid, you have got to pick one of these up because they make meat taste so much better and you can control how much fat you have in sausage and in this case, chili.

So I decided on 50/50 ground beef and pork. I used pork shoulder, cut into chunks, and beef round, also cut into chunks. Once they are cut up, you need to put the meat in a freezer for about 40 minutes to make it just hard enough that the meat grinder grinds it all up in one consistency.

The next step is to build the backbone of the chili and that starts with: BACON! I cut up about eight slices of bacon and browned them very slowly in the pot. I stress very slowly because if the bacon sticks some, it will leave a residue which will slowly build on the bottom of the pan and burn. Then when you stir the chili, you unleash all the burnt stuff on the bottom and immediately ruin the entire batch of chili. Your "batch of chili" will turn into a "botch of chili" and I have seen it happen...Not to me of course.

Once the bacon has cooked, I would suggest hiding it in a cupboard where people cannot come by and just "grab a couple pieces" because we all know how that will turn out.

Above is the first batch of cooked bacon. There were two more just like that. Once the bacon has been rendered down and is brown, you can remove it and add the onion and spices and let those saute before you add the beer, tomato paste, beans and a little water.

I kind of like to wait a while to add the beans so they keep their shape better. If added at the beginning they tend to break down some and then they will thicken the heck out of the chili. It's just a matter of how you like your chili. I just add two cans of beans to this chili because I think the meat is what gives this chili it's consistency and flavor.

Once all of the ingredients have been added, you need to simmer the chili for a couple of hours. Try to keep it on a nice, low heat and try not to stir it as it will break up the bigger chunks of meat.

The finished product!!!


1) 1.5 Lbs. pork shoulder, cubed 1"
2) 2 Lbs. beef round steak, cubed 1"
3) 1 Large onion
4) 3 Cloves garlic
5) 1 Large can of green chili's, chopped
6) 1 Jalapeno pepper, with seeds, chopped (test the pepper first so you won't blow your face off later)
7) 1 Tblsp Cumin
8) 2 Tblsp Chili powder
9) 1 Can tomato sauce
10) 1 Can tomato paste
11) 1 Large 22 oz. bottle of Redhook or another nice ale (not Alaska or Fat Tire)
12) Salt and pepper to taste

To begin, reserve half the beef and pork in one bowl in the refer. Take the other half and let it sit in the freezer for 30 minutes, then take it out and grind it in the meat grinder. If you do not have a meat grinder, ask a butcher for course ground pork shoulder and beef round steak, and if all else fails, buy the pre-ground stuff. Once the meat has been ground, set it aside and warm a large pot/dutch oven (like the one above) on medium/high for a few minutes and then add the onion and garlic and cook it for a few minutes, stirring as needed. Add the chilies, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and the ground beef and pork. Cook this over a medium/high heat until the meat has browned nicely. Then add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and the beer. Bring that to a boil and then simmer for a couple of hours, checking the seasoning and adding salt and pepper when needed. When you have an hour left, add the beans and let them simmer until done. Serve the chili with cilantro, sour cream, and sharp cheddar cheese.