Super Bowl Chili
In honor of the NFL season officially kicking off tonight with the NFC Championship rematch between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings, I present to thee my Super Bowl Chili. Yeah yeah… I know the Super Bowl isn’t until February 6th but chili is chili. Besides, the only reason it’s called Super Bowl Chili is because (you guessed it) I make it every year around Super Bowl time. Go figure.
Vegetarians beware. This isn’t for the faint of heart.
Also if you’re not a fan of some heat then you’d probably want to halve the amount of hot spices. ;p
Dry Spice Blend
¼ cup chili powder
¼ cumin powder
4 tbsp paprika (smoked if you have it)
2 tbsp dry mustard
4 tbsp oregano
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp black pepper
500ml – 800ml beer (Doesn’t matter what type. I tend use two Coronas or Heineken from a standard six-pack)
1 can (796 ml or so) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans (540 ml or so) beans (black and/or red kidney work well)
1 large white or Spanish onion (diced)
2 bell peppers (diced – yellow or orange preferred but any will work)
2 Jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced)
2 cups sliced Cremini mushrooms
3 cloves garlic (minced)
½ pound ground beef (or chicken if you’re not a beef fan)
½ pound ground pork
½ pound stewing beef
½ cup sugar (brown is preferred but white works as well)
1 cup cilantro (minced)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1 tbsp flour
Optional: shredded cheddar
Optional: sour cream
Melt butter and add flour. Mix well and set aside for later. This is a roux that we’ll be using later to thicken the chili
In a large pot on medium-high heat add the vegetable oil and dry spices. Heat them through till fragrant. Heating the spices through is an old Indian practice when cooking that helps wake up the flavors.
Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers and cook till softened slightly and moisture is nearly gone. Stir frequently. (about 5 – 8minutes). Don’t worry we’ll be re-hydrating everything shortly.
Add the beer and bring to a boil.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and hot sauce, chillies, mushrooms and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil.
Add the ground meat and stewing beef. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Let it simmer for about an 1 ½ – 2 hrs. Stir occasionally. Some recommend browning the meat off before dumping it in but it will cook, tenderize and absorb a ton of the flavor this way.
Add cilantro and roux. Stir and let simmer uncovered for another 20 – 25 minutes.
Serve hot topped with cheddar cheese or sour cream.
Alt: This isn’t a vegetarian by any stretch but probably can be adapted to suit a tree-biter by omitting the meaty nasties. Since most soy products are ‘cooked’ already (such as their ground beef) you don’t need to cook the ‘meat’ for as long. Cut the 2 hr simmering time out and just proceed to the last step. Different beans make for different textures and tastes. I recommend a nice six bean blend (found in most grocery stores) so you can have a nice variety. I only recommend Cremini mushrooms because of their size. Virtually any mushroom can be used so long as you cut it to an appropriate size comparable to the rest of the ingredients. Button mushrooms can be dropped in whole if you’re feeling lazy. ;p