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Author Notes: They say a chili lover's life is told by the recipe for his favorite chili.
I first grew to love chili when I spent time in Cincinnati. Cincinnati has a chili culture as robust as any I know of. Along with dozens of mom and pop chili parlors there are 3 chains of fast food style chili parlors, the largest of which (Skyline) has almost 100 locations alone in the Cincinnati area. All of this in a metropolitan area of 2 million. Hallmarks of Cincinnati chili are the exotic seasonings of cloves, cinnamon, and dark chocolate and the presentation/garnishes of spaghetti, grated cheddar cheese and diced white onion affectionately known as 2 way, 3 way, and 4 way.
My love of brisket came from a time when I toyed with joining the professional BBQ circuit and had to learn how to properly smoke/cook brisket. While I enjoy brisket in a sandwich or taco along with those closest to me, there was always too much brisket left over so it quickly found its way into my chili pot where I love the beefy flavor and chewy steak like texture it offers.
Chorizo, onion and black beans are one of those holy trinities of food for me finding their way into many omellettes, tacos, soups, salads, and shellfish dishes.
So there you have it...my life story all bubbled up in a bowl of chili.
This recipe serves alot 15-20 and can obviously be scaled back. But it seems to get better each day until suddenly it's gone. - David
- 1 pound dry black beans (soaked 2-24 hours, drained, rinsed, covered by 2+ inches of water and simmered for 20 minutes with 2 t salt and then drained and rinsed again.
- 8-10 dried milder chiles(I prefer pasilla but ancho and guajilla are fine) stems and seeds removed and then broken into pieces and ground fine in a spice grinder
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 pounds brisket (previously cooked and cut into pieces no larger than 1 inch)
- 1 1/2 pounds mexican style chorizo (not cooked), casing(s) removed
- 2 sweet red bell peppers charred all over on a grill, stove top or broiler, skins, stems and seeds removed and diced
- 2 large or 3 medium onions diced
- 6 thick slices of bacon. diced
- 2 large cans (28-32 oz.) tomatoes. Add all juice and crush by hand or whirl in the food processor
- 6 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo (stems and seeds removed with a knife and fork) and then pulsed in a food processor with one bottle of dark beer
- 1 bottle dark beer...see above
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- In a dry skillet toast and then grind in a spice grinder the coriamder, cumin and fennel seeds. In another skillet in bacon fat or oil cook chorizo in batches making sure to thoroughly brown. After it's cooled you can pulse it in a food processor to break it into small pieces. Make sure your brisket however cooked is also thoroughly browned. If you don't want to cook a whole brisket and/or don't have any left from a recent meal you can use chuck or shoulder roast cut into 1 inch cubes and thoroughly browned.
- put the diced bacon in a large pot or dutch oven and brown. Add onion and soften. Add ground chilies and stir for a minute. Add brisket and chorizo and stir for another minute. Add remaining dry spices, salt and sugar and stir for another minute. Add tomatoes and sweet peppers and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add beans and beer/chipotle mix, stir once and then simmer for twenty minutes. Add chocolate, stir once and simmer 5 more minutes. In the summer if I know the chili will be consumed within a day I'll often add the shaved kernels of 3 ears of sweet corn. Feel free to garnish with sliced jalapenos, sour cream, cheese, pasta (I prefer macaroni over spaghetti), fritos, a slice of good cornbread etc.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spicy Recipe