Hi all, this is seth (sethhagler.wordpress.com). Jeff has agreed to let me add a bit to the blog, and I’m excited. I’m a guy, living in Nashville, who loves to eat, drink and cook. I’m engaged, but my fiancé lives about 2.5 hours away, so I get to claim my current living arrangement as living single. Look forward to writing and interacting, this should be fun!
Sunday, I found out my church was having a chili cook-off. Right up my alley, right? So during the sermon, I made up my recipe, rocked Trader Joe’s for the necessary ingredients, plus some Yazoo Brewing “Sue” to make the process fun!, and got busy. While I don’t have pictures, I think I can portray the deliciousness appropriately.
Prep a large Vidalia onion, shredded nicely on my new mandoline, 2 large chopped shalots, 5 cloves of rough chopped garlic (I like mine chunky!) and seed and chop jalapenos, poblanos, serranos to taste. Sweat these in a stock pot with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once appropriately cooked, remove veg from pot, leaving the oil.
Place 2 pounds of meat in hot oil. I used ground pork and ground chuck for a variety of flavors and fat contents. You can go leaner, but add more oil if so. Season heavily to taste with ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder, finely-ground black or white pepper, red pepper, and a small bit of salt. Brown this to just under done, as it will cook thoroughly by simmering and will stay juicy.
Once meat is browned, pour in one 12-oz. beer of choice, the darker the better. I used a Yazoo “Dos Perros” just because it’s local and great, but anything dark with chocolate or malt notes works well. Other options are Negra Modelo, etc. Heat to a simmer, and then add in the veggies and stir. Let this simmer, lightly bubbling for about 30 minutes to get the flavors married.
Next comes the bulk of the chili, the tomatoes. I prefer really spicy chili, so I use Mexican canned tomatoes, such asRotel with green chilies. Also, check out Rotel ”Chili Fixins”, a can with several ingredients. Pour in 2 undrained cans of diced tomatoes, I use fire-roasted for extra flavor, and two cans of diced Rotel. For extra flavor, pour in 1/2 bottle of Cholula Hot Sauce, great taste, not too much fire. You can add more or less if you like, but this is plenty hot. For thefinal ingredient, bear with me here, add one bar of good crushed chocolate, preferably with a high cacao content (75% or more). Stir well to combine and melt chocolate.
Let this simmer for 3 or 4 hours, stirring occasionally to keep the flavors blending. Then, serve, topping with crushed corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheese (pepper jack is best!), or whatever you like. I know this is a vague recipe, but you get the idea. Don’t be afraid to try your own variation, but I will say that this won the prize for best overall chili at the 2010 Second Presbyterian Church Nashville chili cook-off!