Wish Upon A Dish: Black Bean Chili con Carne

November 7, 2010

Black Bean Chili con Carne

Many years ago I copied the winning recipe from an award winning chili contest. I, like many, have their own way to make chili and although most of the ingredients were the same standard ones, tomatoes, peppers, onions, stock, beans, etc., the one thing I found was the addition of layers of flavors. Not just dumping all the ingredients into a crock pot or Dutch oven and letting them boil away.

There really is a secret to making really good chili. Following Paul Prudhommes technique of adding spices all along the cooking process right up to the end made such a difference in my standard ole chili.

I make a big batch of dried 5 chili powder blend along with a chili sauce that I make from scratch. Adding these ingredients to the basic recipe elevates it to a level you never thought you could get to.

Let's start with the chili sauce. It is the basic Rick Bayless sauce, as easy as could be. I toast the onions and garlic with the chilis but the rest is the same. Keeps in the fridge for weeks and it great on enchiladas or Huevos Rancheros, nachos (YUM) and tacos. Like I said, this is done in stages. Prep first then we cook.

Ancho (or Guajillo) Chili Sauce
(makes about 4 cups)

* 8 medium (2 ounces total) dried Ancho chiles (your choice depending on your heat level), stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
* 1 whole onion, peeled and cut in half horizontally
* 4 cloves of garlic, skins on
* 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted like Muir), drained
* 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided use)
* 3 cups chicken broth
* 1/4 teaspoon sugar
* Salt

1. Toast the chile pieces in a dry heavy skillet or on a griddle heated over medium, pressing them flat against the hot surface with a metal spatula until they are aromatic, about 19 seconds per side. In a bowl, rehydrate the chiles for 20 minutes in hot tap water to cover; place a small place on the top to keep the chiles submerged. Be careful of the fumes, I have problems with the fumes so I bake them in an oven instead.

Use a pair of tongs to transfer the rehydrated chiles to a food processor or blender. Measure in 1 cup of water, add the tomatoes, toasted chopped onions and peeled garlic cloves and process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl.

2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium (4-5 quart) pot or Dutch oven or a large (12-inch) deep skillet over medium-high heat—you’ll need a lid for whichever vessel you choose. When hot, add the chile puree and stir until nearly constantly until reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, about 7 minutes. Add the broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Season with sugar and salt, usually about 1 scant teaspoon. You should have about a generous 4 cups of brothy sauce.

Chili Powder Blend
* 3 tablespoons Ancho powder, Negro Pasilla Powder and New Mexico Green Peppers
* 2 tablespoons Guajillo Powder and Chipotle Powder

Here we go:

First heat up the Dutch oven, squirt a tablespoon canola oil and break up the chop meat.

On medium heat, brown the meat until you see the fond at the bottom of the pot (that's stage 1 of building flavor). Remove to a bowl.

Next, brown the chorizo and when that is done, add to the bowl of chop meat (stage 2).

Add another tablespoon of oil and saute the onions and garlic till soft. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and saute till that caramelizes (stage 3).

Add 2 tablespoons of chili powder blend and saute for another 1-2 minutes (stage 4).

Add the beer to deglaze, then all the other ingredients plus a cup of water. Bring to a boil, add another tablespoon of chili powder and cover, and simmer for 1 hour stage 4).
Slice 2 corn tortillas in strips and drop into the chili, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Simmer, stirring often for 45 minutes. Serve with minced onions, green onions, sour cream and grated cheddar cheese.
I made cornbread muffins, The Nudge likes it with saltines.

Did you know that Bean Chili is very good for Diabetics, as long as the ratio of beans to meat is 2:1 (2 cups beans to 1 cup cooked meat).
November being National Diabetes Awareness Month I made my pledge to post and eat recipes using beans 3-4x each week.

So far week 1 - beans 4X.

Black Bean Chili con Carne
* 1 pound chop meat, 80%
* 2 Mexican Chorizo sausages, skin removed and chopped fine
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 6 cloves garlic
* 4 tablespoons chili powder blend
* Peanut or Canola oil
* 2 Serrano Peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
* 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 can chopped green chilies
* 1 1/2 cup Ancho Chili sauce
* 1 bottle good dark amber beer
* 1 cup water

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