Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chipotle Chilli

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of red? Its a comfort food, but spicier... like a stew in lingerie. Ok, maybe that is taking the analogy a little far. Chilli traditionally is nothing more then a hunk of beef with some chilli peppers. That is it. You'll never find anyone in North America become as passionate about food until you get into a debate about chilli. Beans, typically a no go. Tomatoes are sitting on the sidelines. This is not that chilli, but perhaps one day ill make that authentic southern stew. Debate all you want, I do not care. If cowboys were chefs, then Texas would be named New Gascony. This is the type of chilli we as Canadians have learned to love.

I choose to use Chipotle peppers which is not traditional, but to capture that feel. The smoke of the chipotle puts you in that mental state of tending a camp fire with a pot of chilli on it. Some may say that "Smoke is a barbecue thing," well perhaps your right; however, it was cooked over a camp fire, and if smell is most of what we taste then we can assume that chilli defiantly had a smoky element to it. Ok, rant complete. I always use a roast, pound for pound its usual cheaper then mince, but you know where on the animal its coming from and how its going to perform. I recommend sirloin tip, inside or outside round, but any tough cut packed with flavour and gelatine will do. I like to take it out of the vacpack or styrofoam and air dry in the fridge for a day or two. It will really help remove some of the excess moisture, give it better flavour, and more importantly give you the best sear. As always adjust the recipe to what you have on hand, and your preferences.


1/2 lb Beef (cut into a one inch dice)
2-3 Medium Onions diced
8 cloves Garlic finely chopped
2-3 Scotch Bonnet peppers (adjust varieties and amounts to your tastes)
1/2 L Beer (the darker the better, but whatever is around, or use tequila or whisky)
2 cans San Marzano tomatoes (they really are the best)
2 Chipotle Chilli
3 cups Red Kidney Beans


Heat up a large cast iron dutch oven with a touch of oil. When its hot add your meat to sear in batches, if you dump them in all at once they are going to steam, release juices, and not form a proper sear. Reserve the seared meat in a bowl. Lower your heat, and add your onions cook until they begin to turn translucent. At this point you can add your garlic and peppers. When those are done deglaze with the beer, and add your meat back in. At this point I prefer to give my canned tomatoes a good chop, it will help them break down faster...and into the pot they go. Add in your kidney beans. I use dried and let them soak overnight, however canned works just as fine. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low, and simmer partially covered for about two and a half hours. After which, remove the lid and allow the liquid to start reducing. It should take about three hours exactly for your meat to be tender, your tomatoes broken down, and your beans cooked -but use your own judgement. I prefer my chilli to have a thick stew consistency, and not soupy like some chain restaurants. Hope you all enjoy beware, its a creeper!


Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Love the "stew in lingerie" phrase! :) Sounds delish!

commiskaze said...

Hey someone has to sex up a chilli a bit ;) thanks for checking it out!