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07 August 2008

I've been researching chili... [More:]

and I've come across some interesting suggested ingredients, including:

bacon (rendered, w/the fat used to brown the meat)
cocoa powder
worcesteshire sauce
cider vinegar
lime juice

This website was especially helpful. Just about all the recipes included a base of tomato sauce, with lots of cumin, garlic, and chili powder (prepared or grind your own, which I'm sure is superior, but I'm not up to, I'm afraid). I think I'm gonna go with the beer, whiskey (Willie Nelson whiskey!), lime juice, cocoa powder, worcesteshire (cause that's good in just about anything), paprika, oregano (though I have my doubts -- still, most of the recipes included it), and maybe the rendered bacon, plus a few extras from my pantry, like cayenne, coriander, and onion powder (Jon doesn't like nongranulated onion). Three or four hours of luscious simmering.

No beans, though. We're keeping the lonestar pure here. I'm using brisket. (Not traditional, but it's what I have, and I think it will be tender. And if it shreds, I'll call it "chili barbecue.") I also have a can of chipotle, which I think I'll throw in for an extra kick. Poured over rice, topped with cheddar and sour cream to cut the heat (we like it hot). Some raw chopped onion for me. Mylanta standing by.
You usin' you a mighty good sippin' whiskey to round out your chili there, Pips. Y'ought to call it Heaven Hill chili after the distillery.
posted by Hugh Janus 07 August | 10:52
My secret ingredient in chili is vegemite. Yeasty, so it does the same thing as beer, really. Although I use both. (you wouldn't think it, but Brooklyn pilsener actually gives a really nice taste to a turkey chili.)
posted by gaspode 07 August | 11:20
Heaven Hill chili... I like the ring of that, HJ. (Just a shot or two -- plenty left for sippin'. : )

Yeah, 'pode, I only have Bud in the fridge, which I might just go with, cause I'm a lazy, lazy girl.
posted by Pips 07 August | 11:24
Cinnamon stick. Remove after cooking or when there's enough flavor.
posted by StickyCarpet 07 August | 11:30
No offense to my Cincinnati brethren, but I'm of the opinion that putting cinnamon and paprika in chili is not funny.

Using beer in chili is good. The hoppier the better (imo).

One thing I like to do is take an oppressively hot pepper like a habanero, cut it almost in half along its length, remove the seeds and ribs, toss it into the pot while it's simmering and remove it when it's done. Same principle as using a bay leaf. Gives the whole thing more authority, but not too oppressive to those in your family with sensitive palates.
posted by syntax 07 August | 11:31
A schonch of yellow mustard.
posted by rainbaby 07 August | 11:32
Cinci chili makes the best Frito pie.
posted by Hugh Janus 07 August | 11:34
cincinnati chili is damnfuckinawesome and I'll fight anyone who claims different.


Pips, it sounds like you got a winner there. Let us know how it turns out, eh?
posted by lonefrontranger 07 August | 11:37
I just wrote down an easy three-bean chili at work today. It's more of a grab and dump thing and not very sophisticated.

All I know is chili must have beans!
posted by LoriFLA 07 August | 11:38
Oh, oregano is absoutely necessary.

My chili has: beef or "chili grind" (beef/pork combo), olive oil, garlic, onion, salt, tomato sauce, oregano, cumin, chili, cayenne, cocoa powder, sugar, masa,and black pepper. I don't put lime in it, because I serve it with lime wedges on the side. Over rice, with cheddar, sour cream, and sliced jalepenos. No beans, because I'm Texan.

Enjoy. There are a lot of ways to make good chili. It's like a peanut butter sandwich: everyone makes it slightly differently.
posted by Miko 07 August | 11:52
I take ONE dried pineapple ring, and chop it up as fine as I can get it, and add it. It adds some sweetness and a bit of juicyness which cannot be easily identified, but it makes it better. Dried apricot in a pinch.
posted by danf 07 August | 12:43
That sounds yummy, Miko. Jalepenos would be good to have.

I lived in Cinci for five years, and never did understand what they call chili. Once I realized it was really moussaka filling, I got it. (I didn't like it -- no offense, lfr -- but I got it. Sky Line's owned by a Greek dude, I believe. Cinci "chili's" all about the nutmeg, IMHO.) I just can't live in a place where they put mayo on their corned beef.

Fun suggestions, folks... wish I could pour y'all a bowlful.
posted by Pips 07 August | 12:50
Good ol' hamburger soup! With saltines! Yummy! One of the few dishes that can take virtually any combination of ingredients in moderation. Cinnamon/cocoa chilis work best with little or no sweetening and lots of heat, but that chopped pineapple idea would work well in it.

My basic chili is a piece of braising beef, a dozen dried chilis, and some salt. Brown the beef in a bit of oil, salt it, toss in the chilis, lower the heat, and keep the water level at about half an inch until the meat falls apart on its own. I prefer corn tortillas.
posted by Ardiril 07 August | 13:33
I like to throw in a can of hominy. Good corny flavor and a nice texture, too.

Also, the Texas beans/no-beans debate is entirely regional. And in the region where I grew up? There were always beans.
posted by mudpuppie 07 August | 13:38
"There were always beans."

Quite often when growing up, my mom's chili was only beans. It tastes great on dry toast, and you can't get much cheaper than that.
posted by Ardiril 07 August | 13:58
When I was a kid, I used to eat cold bean and butter sandwiches. Quite tasty. These days, I like the British vegetarian Heinz beans over buttered toast with melted sharp cheddar. Yum.

(Now I'd better start that chili, or it'll be beans for dinner tonight. I got a bit distracted, obsessively editing a short story I'm working on. A noble cause, to be sure, but I'm hungry, and my neck hurts.)
posted by Pips 07 August | 15:45
It's simmering away. But I may have overseasoned. Something in there tastes bitter. I think it may be the cocoa. Or whiskey. I added more tomato sauce and chicken stock. And some sugar. It's better, but I don't know. I'll let it simmer another hour or two.

There's always pizza. :(
posted by Pips 07 August | 17:48
Hrm. Sounds like it probably is the cocoa that made it bitter, since whiskey is pretty sweet. With the cocoa, I'd avoid adding too much sugar. After it cooks for a while, try rounding it out with some acid instead -- lemon or lime juice come to mind, but red wine vinegar or balsamic would work too, if used sparingly. You'll want to add them fairly last-minute, though, to keep the flavors bright.
posted by mudpuppie 07 August | 17:53
Thanks, mudpuppie. I'll give it a try.
posted by Pips 07 August | 18:15
Sadly, it's utterly inedible. Next time, I'll remember, less is more. At least tomorrow's garbage night. :(
posted by Pips 07 August | 20:49
(Jon's having a TV dinner, poor soul.)
posted by Pips 07 August | 20:49
Previous ideas from the bunnies.
posted by arse_hat 07 August | 22:59
Yeah, looks pretty similar to what I've seen before, a_h. (I wasn't around in 12/05, alas.) I think I just got a little too kitchen sink on this one. I've made chili before that turned out quite good. Live and learn.

Maybe what it was missing was the cilantro. :)
posted by Pips 08 August | 10:54
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