This post is going to deviate from my norm in that the main reason for writing is to share my chili recipe. That said, I will still share with you the fact that my tea for the evening is Numi Organic Rooibos.
The reason I am posting this is because everyone who tastes my chili, and pretty much everyone who hears about it, all want to have the recipe. I have shared my chili recipe a few other times, but I figure it is better to have it in one place so all have to do give someone a link to this page.
First, a little background. I made chili the first time about 15 years ago. The company I was working for had a chili cook-off and I was literally dared to provide an entry. Like most of my cooking projects, I researched a couple dozen chili recipes and came up with my own interpretation. I knew I wanted it to have some significant heat, so I put in some seriously potent chiles. For a first effort, I was pleased with the result. It did, however, have an interesting characteristic. When you first put it in your mouth, it had a nice mix of flavor and heat. Ten seconds later, it had a kick like a bull. Everyone who tried it had the same response, “Oh, this is good……WOW!!” It was dubbed Nightmare Chili, and I am happy to say it took first prize.
As good as it was, I knew I could do better. So I spent the next few years experimenting and I came up with what I think is a good combination of chiles. Most people when they hear twelve chiles think the chili is unbelievably hot. Well, it is hot, I am not going to lie to you about that. It isn’t nearly as hot as the Nightmare Chili was. The reason for the twelve chiles is that each one brings something different to final dish. Some are there to bring the heat, like the arbols and japones. Some are mild and bring a variety of other flavors, The ancho chiles bring a fruity, raisin-like flavor. The chipotles bring a smoky flavor. The jalapenos bring a sense of familiarity since they probably the most common. Also the different chiles bring their heat at different times, some at the beginning, some a few seconds later, some later still. This allows the flavor of the chili to evolve over the course of each individual bite.
One last thing before I get to the good stuff. I realize that not everyone has ready access to dried chiles like I do down here in FL. If you don’t have a local Latin market, most if not all of these chiles should be available on the Internet. Also feel free to substitute or omit chiles as availability or your taste dictates. Try to maintain the balance of mild to hot. For my taste, I have to have the anchos and chipotles or I won’t make it. I hope you enjoy it.
Biener’s Famous 12-Chile Chili
3-4 New Mexico
1 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Chipotle
2 Jalapenos, Minced
1 Poblano, Minced
3 lbs. Ground Sirloin (or other lean ground beef)
2 28 oz. cans Crushed Tomatoes
1 Large Sweet Onion, Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbl Hot Chili Powder
2 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp Cumin
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 cup White Wine
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 cups Boiling Water
Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese for garnish
- De-stem and de-seed the dried chiles. (Japones and arbols are too hard to de-seed so I just de-stem them)
- Place chiles in a bowl and cover with approximately two cups of boiling water. Allow to soak about 30 minutes.
- While chiles are soaking, cook diced onion in olive oil over medium heat until caramelized, 10-15 minutes.
- Add garlic, jalapenos and poblano to pot. Cook to soften, 5-10 minutes.
- Add ground beef to the pot and cook until browned.
- Add tomatoes and wine. (I pour the wine into the empty tomato cans first to get all the tomato goodness.)
- Put the now soaked chiles and one cup of the water into a blender, and blend until smooth. Reserve the remaining water.
- Add the water/chile mixture into the pot.
- Add the powdered chlies and the rest of the seasonings.
- Simmer 1 ½ -2 hours. If you prefer slightly milder chili, simmer covered. If you want slightly hotter chili, simmer uncovered replacing whatever evaporates with the reserved chile water.
- Serve either as is, or topped with shredded cheddar/jack cheese.
I made this for my family just a few weeks ago. Despite this, my step daughter has been asking me almost every day for the last week when am I going to make it again. If you remember my post from a couple of weeks ago where I described my visit to the Mexican market in Sarasota, I was replenishing my stock of dried peppers so could make more chili. Planning.