Award winning chili

Given that today is a blustery cold Autumn day, I figured I'd drag out my award winning chili recipe (it was in a three way tie for first place in my company chili cookoff) - but, a good thick French Canadian Pea Soup is good too (the kind you can stand your spoon up in or cut with a knife.).

My chili recipe is something like this (I never know exactly because I
always use approximate measures - my hand) - feeds a bunch of people:

2 medium/large onions
1 tbls garlic paste
500g (1 lb)ground lean pork
500g (1 lb) ground lean beef
500g (1 lb) ground lean turkey
2 tbls paprika (sweet not hot paprika)
1 tbls ground cumin (more or less, depending on taste)
½ tsp turmeric (it wouldn't hurt to add upto 1 tsp)
¼ tsp chili powder (this depends on how hot your chili powder is and how hot
you like your chili)
1 tbls salt
½ tbls ground pepper
1 bottle (650 ml) Presidents Choice Mild Chunky Salsa
1 can (540 ml, 19 fl oz) red beans
1 can (540 ml, 19 fl oz) white beans
1 can (540 ml, 19 fl oz) black beans
4 Medium bay leaves
fresh cilantro (coriander) - the leaves, not the root

1. Peel and chop the onions. Place in pot
2. Add garlic paste (or chopped up garlic). I use about 1 tbls. But you can add more or less according to taste
3. Throw in the ground meat.
4. Add the spices: paprika, cumin, turmeric, chili, salt, and pepper.
5. Use a spoon to break up the meat and sort of mix things together (no need to over do it)
6. Cook over low heat until meat it cooked. Mixing occasionally to move cooked meat from the bottom up and push uncooked meat down, also to break up big lumps of meat. I cook with a cover on the pot. There is no need to add oil, plenty of liquid will come from the meats and onions.
7. Once the meat is cooked, add the Salsa. Stir.
8. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
9. Open and drain the beans. Rinse the beans. Add the beans to the mix. Stir till things are nicely blended.
10. Add bay leaves. Let them sit on top for a few moments to soften, then mix them into the chili.
11. Wash and chop cilantro (coriander). I added about 2 tbls - but this will depend on how coarsely or finely you chopped the cilantro. I had the long cilantro with the root attached. I selected one plant and used that. But it all depends on your taste.
12. Cover and cook for a while. You will need to stir occasionally - probably every 10 -15 minutes (because the chili is very thick).
13. I think I simmered it for about 1 hour (because I remember stirring about 5 or 6 times).
14. After it is cooked, remove the bay leaves.

You should be able to substitute a can of diced tomatoes for the Salsa.

I think the key to taste is different meats. You could substitute horse, veal, venison, or bison for the beef. Ostrich or emu for the turkey. Boar for the pork. I would not recommend ground chicken - yechhh!

Prepare at least 48 hours before serving (for optimal flavour mixing).

You can add more chili, you can use a spicier salsa, but most people are wimps and if it's too hot, they won't eat it - so that's why this is pretty tame.

Personally, I love spicy food - Thai and Indian are high on my list of favourite ethnic foods.

The funny thing is that in Peru, they eat spicy food, but Sofia doesn't. So, there we were on our honeymoon. me, the Gringo, eating Rocoto Relleno - a stuffed hot pepper about the size of a sweet bell pepper and Cuy Chactado - tenderized Guinea Pig (follow the link for a picture).

While I'm off on another tangent ... the worst thing I had in Peru was a vegetable cocktail (I rather like them), but this cocktail ... erm ... I don't think anyone had ever ordered it before (even though it was on the menu). I think it was only made of raw beets - ick! It had a cold, raw, earthy taste that was not at all refreshing.

"Eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." - Mark Twain

If I lived by the coast, this is the kind of day it was.
You can get more Autumn photos from here.


*drool* Your chili recipe sounds delicious! I would have almost been compelled to go downstairs and try my hand at making it, but after seeing the photo of the Cuy Chactado, I fear that I may never eat again. ;) (Being the previous owner of two pet guinea pigs until they went to the "great habitrail in the sky" earlier this year. I had no idea that people actually eat those. eek.)

Hmm, this gives me an idea. I've been looking for a way to curb the voracious appetite that I seem to have lately (like you, I'm at the place in life where I don't need it)...that picture of the Cuy Chactado just might do the trick. :)
dandan...™ said…
Oh Richard,
you make hungry..
there's go my diet plan..
ingrid said…
Oh Yum. And I ate fruit for lunch. Damn.
Richard said…
MIO: Guinea pig was a staple food in the Andes (apparently domesticated 4000 years ago as a food source - see more here: Knowing they are pets is quite strange for them (just as we might consider keeping chickens as a pet is strange). On the plate, it does rather look like a rat that's been run over, battered, fried, and served. There is not much meat and it tastes like chicken (doesn't everything?).

danda: sorry, I'm sure you will recover you diet.

Ingrid: there is nothing wrong with fruit for lunch - I've been eating more carrots and grapes (although, I do sneak in a ham sandwich). I think I'm the only guy eats a pound of carrots at a time - no wonder the old waistline is not trimming so quickly :-)

I'm pretty good with food. I'll eat almost anything - although, I am leary of cold creamy / pasty dishes (unless they are sweet desserts!).
Barbara said…
This looks GREAT! You and I share a common approach to cooking -- I seldom measure anything precisely. I like to experiment a lot in cooking also.

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