Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chili | I think I Found a Winner

The leaves are changing and fall is in the air (or is it Autumn??).  No matter what you call it, I bet for most of you it's your favorite time of year, I know it is for me anyway.  I love to look out my kitchen windows and see the bright colors, and I really love getting to wear more clothes...I'm just not a summer girl.  But if all that wasn't reason enough to love fall, then the food would surely do it.  It's time for soups and stews, chili and chowder, and if you haven't already, dust off that crock pot, cause slow cooking season has arrived!

I've been making chili since high school, although back then I was in the kitchen just stirring the pot while dad did the actual cooking, it's still one of my all time favorites.  Over the years I've been trying a little this and a little that to perfect the recipe, and this year is no different.  Today I think I've found my new favorite!  Since chili is better the second day, it's not actually on the menu until tomorrow night, but if today's taste test is any indication of what tomorrow will bring, in heaven we will be.

I've tried a few sweet chili's and while they were interesting and I liked the sweetness, I really missed the smokey flavor.  And then I had a moment, an aha moment...Chipotle!  You get the sweetness from the brown sugar and the smoke from the Chipotle...they are perfect companions.  

Beef and Bean Chili 

2 Tbs olive oil
2 large Vadalia or other sweet onions, chopped  
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb beef sirloin, cubed
1 lb ground beef
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced 
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
4-6 oz double concentrated tomato paste (tube) 
1 can dark lager beer
1 cup strong black coffee
1 can low sodium beef broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs cocoa
1 Tbs cumin
2 tsp coriander, ground
2 tsp oregano
1-2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
3 (15oz) cans kidney beans, mix of regular and dark red
2-3 large Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, finely chopped

1. Sweat onions and garlic in oil in a large dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot.  Add meats, salt and pepper and brown.  Add all other ingredients bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. 

2.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate over night before serving.

I love my chili over white rice, topped with shredded jack cheese with either butter crackers or tortilla chips.
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Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

Mmmm, sounds and looks delicious! So glad you kept the cocoa powder in - it somehow works so well in chili.

ncl117 said...

wow cocoa powder in chili? this sounds delicious!

Jessie said...

yumm chili, one of my favorite comforting meals for the fall season

Jennifer said...

Now Ive made chili with cocoa before but never with beer, coffee and brown sugar! I am SOOO making this!!

SargeDesign79 said...

Sounds so delish and comforting!!


Kevin said...

That chili looks good! I like the coffee in there.

Val said...

Sounds and looks so wonderful!!!!