Guest Post : For The Chili Nights

Today’s post comes from missrachelchanel, a blog by one of my dear friends. To see the original post, click here.

For The Chili Nights

I wanted to make a post about this because my dear friend asked me to write a post about my favourite holiday recipe. I wouldn’t consider this a holiday recipe so much as a seasonal one, and I felt that it was noteworthy enough to share. When it starts to get cold, this is one of the first things that I get excited to make. 
This is the best chili that I’ve had so far; I obtained the recipe from cooking school. We received a book of recipes that was printed by the school that have been tested and printed up into sections. This chili recipe was in the soup section of the cookbook.
“If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Have any of you heard this question?
For years, I was unable to answer it! The very thought of eating only one thing for the rest of my life (even if it was a rhetorical situation) made me want to give up on life! After having had this chili, especially on the second day, I finally found an answer to that question. I would gladly eat this chili for the rest of my life… as long as it was only once a day. If it wasn’t this chili, I’d also choose the vegan chili that our stage manager made once. I’ll have to post the recipe for that one eventually. Once I make it myself, I promise to post a recipe for that one.
But for now… the chili con carne.
It has the perfect amount of spices in it and the right amount of heat from the jalapeños, which makes it plenty flavorful. My mom likes more beans, so I’ve added a little more than the recipe suggests.
The ingredients are as follows:
  • 2 c. kidney beans
  • 5 c. brown stock
  • 4 strips bacon, med dice
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 c. small dice onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
  • 2 ribs small dice celery
  • 2 Tb cumin
  • 2 Tb chili powder
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 c tomato puree
  • s & p, tt
  • sour cream and cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
So… the first 2 steps of this recipe I’ve never really used because I always bought a can of beans. However, if you’re using dried beans, you want to soak them according to direction first, then cook them in 4 of the 5 c. of that brown stock. While that’s happening, cook your bacon in a very large skillet (Trust me, it needs to be large. This recipe makes a lot of chili). Once your bacon is cooked off, save a piece for yourself, and put the other 3 in with the beans to cook. This way, they can be infused with the goodness that only bacon can give.
IF, however, you’re like me and bought a can of beans, eat your 4 strips of bacon when cooked, and proceed to do the following:
Brown off all your beef in that lovely bacon fat and remove it once it’s cooked. If you didn’t want to use ground beef, I’m sure ground chicken or turkey would be lovely. I’ll have to experiment with that modification and let you know how I get on. In the meantime, let us proceed.
In a pan that is now shimmering with the fat from your bacon and your ground beef (brilliant!), soften that diced onion and add the garlic with it. Once it’s “transparent”, as they say, let the celery and jalapeño join the party and cook up for about a minute. Shortly after, add the spices, that stock, and the puree. Let it boil, then have that lovely soup of flavors simmer down until it’s thickened a bit.
Ahh, you didn’t think I forgot the beans and beef, did you? Well now that your spicy and delicious broth has thickened, add in the ground beef and the beans. If you’ve done dried and have the bacon still in there, leave it in. It’ll do more good than harm, trust me.
Let all these flavors get to know each other on medium heat for 20 minutes. If you feel that it needs salt and pepper, add it in towards the end.
Tadaa!! Let it cool down, get it in your favourite bowl, and tuck in!
If you’re feel patient enough to wait until the next day (or if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers), the tastes are magnified, and it’ll be even more pleasurable to eat! I know! I didn’t think it could get better until I had it the second day.
If you have a small family or live on your own, this meal can span over a few days until you’ve consumed it all… and the more it sits, the better it gets! It’s one of the few foods that only gets better the longer it hangs around, and I adore that about this chili.
I hope you get a chance to try it this season. I haven’t made it yet, but I’m sure it won’t be much longer before I’ve made my first batch to christen the season.

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