It’s Winter, Warm Yourself Up Chili
I’ve been working on this recipe a while and this is another one of my fire breather recipes. This is really, really spicy chili. If you don’t want really, really spicy chili, I’ll make notes about how to turn it down a notch, and how to turn it down 10 notches (*see asterisk below ingredients), just in case you all don’t have stomachs lined with asbestos. Also, in case your stomach is lined with asbestos, I’ll give you notes about how to take it up to super octane, the way I make it when my husband and I are not sharing with others (**see double asterisks below ingredients, I will also note the Scoville units for each pepper so you can decide what to leave in and what to leave out if you wish). I like the cocoa powder in it because it gives the sauce a richer feel and color. Also, be aware that this recipe makes about 3 quarts of chili. It freezes incredibly well, so we freeze it in single serve containers and then just take one out and bring it to work to nuke for lunch. The pictures show me making a double batch, because it’s a bit more work than I like to do to make it, so I do it once and put the rest in our chest freezer until we want to eat it.
It’s Winter, Warm Yourself Up Chili
- 1 lb bags of small red beans (or kidney beans or any other bean of your choice. Mix it up!)
- 1 Tablespoon of Epazote (Mexican herb used in bean dishes to reduce gas, you can skip this if you don’t have any on hand. It doesn’t have much flavor, think dried parsley.)
- 1 whole dried red chipotle pepper - 15,000 Scoville units (omit or use a quarter teaspoon of ground chipotle instead if worried about spice)
- 1/2 of a dried Guajillo pepper -6,000 Scoville units (omit if worried about spice)
- 1/2 of a dried Ancho chili pepper – 3,000 Scoville units (omit or use a quarter teaspoon of ground ancho instead if worried about spice)
- 1 whole dried Cascabel chili pepper - 11,000 Scoville units (omit if worried about spice)
- 1 lb package of ground beef
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon of canola oil
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper, seeded and chopped – 0 Scoville units (the other half you can just throw in a freezer ziploc bag and put in the freezer to use for next time, I don’t even bother to chop it up first and peppers freeze beautifully whole)
- 1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded and chopped – 0 Scoville units
- 1/4 of a Habanero pepper, seeded and diced into very, very small pieces – 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units (USE RUBBER GLOVES to chop and seed or you may be very, very sorry. Ask me how I know, and how long it took my hands to stop burning the time I was dumb enough not to wear gloves. Pop the rest in the freezer in a ziploc for next time. Also, omit entirely if you are worried about spice)
- 3 Tablespoons of chili powder (I used Penzey’s Hot Chili Powder, but you could use regular chili powder and knock it back to 2 Tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste.
*How to turn it down 10 notches – If you can’t eat anything with spice, omit all the peppers except for the red and green bell pepper, and the chili powder, and knock the chili powder back to 2 Tablespoons.
**How to turn it up to super octane – To your dried peppers, add the following: 1 whole dried Dundicut chili pepper -60,000 Scoville units; 1 whole dried Piquin chili pepper – 70,000 Scoville units; and 1 whole dried Sanaam chili pepper – 40,000 Scoville units; use the entire Guajillo and Ancho dried peppers instead of half, and use the whole Habanero. Add Sriracha sauce – 2200 Scoville units, to taste after cooking. Seriously, this is a really, really beyond hot chili, and is not for casual consumption.
Choose one of the two methods below to re-hydrate your beans.
Overnight soaking method: Sort through the beans, looking for rocks (yes, it’s happened), other things that are not beans, and any discolored beans and hulls, and remove them. Wash the beans in a colander, and put them in a stock pot (the one I use is an 8 quart size), with enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Let soak overnight or at least 6 to 8 hours.
Quick soak method: Again, sort and wash the beans as described above. Put the beans in a stock pot (the one I use is an 8 quart size), with enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for an hour.
If you used the overnight soak, drain the beans out in a colander, and rinse them and the stock pot. Put the beans back in the stock pot, with enough water to cover and the epazote, and cook on medium low, mixing occasionally and adding water as needed, until the beans are tender and the skins split. If you used the quick soak method, make sure there’s enough water in the pot, add the epazote and cook on medium low, mixing occasionally and adding water as needed, until the beans are tender and the skins split.
While the beans are cooking you need to re-hydrate your dried peppers. Take the stems off, remove the seeds, and cut them into small pieces, putting them in a microwave safe container. I used kitchen shears to cut them into pieces. Add about a quarter cup of water to the container and nuke it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to re-hydrate them a bit. Set them aside.
In a frypan, brown and drain your ground beef, drain off the fat and discard it, and set the ground beef aside.
In another frypan, or the same one if you moved your beef to another container, saute onions, celery and garlic in the canola oil until they are translucent.
Your beans will be ready when they look like this:
Once the beans are ready, add the ground beef, and the onion, celery and garlic mixture to the pot, scraping down carefully. Then add your re-hydrated dried peppers, the diced tomatoes (do not drain), the Habanero, red and green bell peppers, the chili powder and the cocoa powder. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Simmer for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. When chili is cooked, taste and add salt as necessary.
Hope you like it, let me know what you think!