Monday, January 31, 2011

Chili Con Carne

1/2 pound pinto beans (about one cup), dried and picked over
1/2 cup chili powder (see below)
3 T corn meal
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
3 cups beef stock
1/2 pound bacon
3 pounds beef brisket, ground [85% lean/5% fat at least]
1 pound onions, chopped
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 T molasses
2 dried chipotle chiles

* * * * * * *

Ingredients for chili powder:
4 T ground ancho chili
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 T dried oregano, preferably Mexican

Preparing the chili powder:
Toast all ingredients in a small pan over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

Grind together in coffee grinder. Store in an airtight container if not using immediately.

* * * * * * *

Preparing the chili:
Combine 3 tablespoons salt, four quarts of water and beans in pot. Heat to boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour.

Whisk half-cup of stock with chili powder, corn meal, oregano, cumin and cocoa powder. Mix until a thick paste is formed and set aside.

Cook bacon until crisp over medium-high heat. Remove and crumble, reduce heat to medium, then brown beef in batches in bacon fat. Remove and set aside.

Sauté onions and peppers in remaining drippings until soft, about 7 to 9 minutes.
Stir in paste and garlic and heat for one minute, until garlic is fragrant.

Crumble bacon into pan and add beef, beef stock, tomatoes, molasses and dried chiles.
Bring to boil, then simmer partially covered for three hours. Add water or stock as needed to maintain desired consistency.


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