- 3 large onions, preferably Vidalias or something close, finely chopped
- 3 poblano peppers, finely chopped (but the store I was at this morning only had 2 left so I had to toss in an Anaheim). Poblanos to me are the soul of Latin-inspired cooking. Substitute these for any recipe that calls for regular bell peppers to give your recipe a nice backbone.
- 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
- 2 serrano peppers (these are so small there's no way to chop them other than finely chopped
- 2 shallots
I use 7 cans of Goya beans in the recipe...usually 1 of each of the following:
- Dark kidneys
- Red kidneys
- Dominican red
- Black-eyed peas
- Pinto (why Pinto? AAAARRRRGGGGP...why not?!)
- Central American red (these can get a little pasty but they work) or another can of Dark Kidneys. Also if you can find the Colombian Cargamanto beans, these are awesome too. Can always substitute any of these out for each other to taste.
- 2 or 3 cans crushed tomatoes
Stir up what you have so far and add spices as follows to taste. I said "add to taste," not "add to bland." DON'T BE SHY:
- Chili powder
- Hot Mexican-style chili powder
- Cumin (especially not shy with this stuff. People forget about cumin. To me it's mission-critical).
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- Onion powder
- Franks' Red Hot Sauce (yeah, I put that $#!+ on everything, too)
- Salt (actually forgot this one as a given in the original post - my bad!)
Mix in everything well. By now you can bring the heat down to low/medium low and cover it all up.
Beer helps with chili. Maybe 1/2 to a full robust, malty beer. Think stouts, quads, barleywine, old ale, Scotch ale or something dark and Belgian-ish. Some of my favorites:
- Boulevard Dark Truth Imperial Stout
- Boulevard Sixth Glass Quadrupel
- Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marrron
- Unibroue Maudite (the best beer with a burger EVAH!!!)
- Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
- Stone Imperial Russian Stout
- Anything from a crowler from one of your local microbrewing oases
Throw in a pinch of sugar and add the beer...if there's anything left, go ahead and drink the rest. You earned it.
Now if you're one of those plant-eaters you could probably stop now. I am not, so I will continue...
- 1.5-2.0 pounds chorizo. Brown, drain the fat and add to the pot.
- 1.5-2.0 pounds ground beef (chuck or round...80-85% lean works), SEASONED. For Crissake, please season the meat. Ground beef tastes like nothing without seasoning. Add some of the same seasonings you used for the base - maybe even toss in some paprika. Same instructions for the chorizo: Brown, drain and add to the pot.
You're pretty much done with the heavy lifting. Turn the heat down to about as low as you can go without the flame going out. Stir every 20 minutes or so. Every hour taste to add more seasoning as necessary. Again, DON'T BE SHY. Crack open another beer. You earned a full one.
What's awesome about chili (besides everything)?
- It's easy AF to whip up a batch
- Feeds a fair amount of people...even for a few days
- It's one of those dishes that's completely to taste, so there shouldn't be any "that's not what it's supposed to taste like" whining from anyone
- Can be as cheap as you need to make it
- Great dish to whip up when you're a poor college student to impress your peeps
Once ready to serve, shred some cheese over the top of each bowl. Sharp cheddar works and so does pepper jack and even manchego. Cornbread goes really well on the side, too. Enjoy!