Warm Up With Craig Allen’s Favorite Chili (Recipe)

Is it cold enough for you, New Jersey?

Earlier this week, Bill Spadea was talking about hearty, hot soup (watch it here)

To this, I offer you my favorite chili recipe.

You will like it. Bill will like it.

It’s warm and “fleshy”.

Besides, how can you go wrong with a recipe that calls for a bottle of beer? And… the chocolate?

Some of the ingredients you will need. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Some of the ingredients you will need. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Let’s get started… You need:

Begin to brown the burger. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Begin to brown the burger. (Photo by Craig Allen)

2 and 1/2 lb lean chuck, ground (hamburger).

Take a packet (or a tube) of ground pork. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Take a packet (or a tube) of ground pork. (Photo by Craig Allen)

1 lb lean pork, ground.

As with the beef, brown the pork in a large skillet.

Beef and pork are in my “Dutch Oven”. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Beef and pork are in my “Dutch Oven”. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Once cooked, put the meat in a large pot.

Do you have onions? (Photo by Craig Allen)

Do you have onions? (Photo by Craig Allen)

Then add…

I use my electric chopper… I cry less. (Photo by Craig Allen)

I use my electric chopper… I cry less. (Photo by Craig Allen)

1 tsp finely chopped…

Onions come in. (Craig Allen photo)

Onions come in. (Craig Allen photo)

…onion.

Then add:

Add 4 of these…1/2 tsp. (Photo by Craig Allen)

4 of them…1/2 tsp minced garlic. (Photo by Craig Allen)

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (NOTE: 1/2 cup = 1 garlic clove).

Add the tomato sauce. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Add the tomato sauce. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Recipe calls for (1) 8oz can of tomato sauce (I usually go with a 16oz can of tomato sauce…I like more tomato flavor).

1 cup of water between. (Craig Allen photo)

1 cup of water between. (Craig Allen photo)

1 C of water (fresh from the tap).

Next, the secret ingredient you’ve been waiting for:

Take a barley pop. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Take a barley pop. (Photo by Craig Allen)

What, you’ve never heard the term “barley pop”? It goes back to my college days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

GO, Badgers!

Yes, I graduated with honors. (Craig Allen Photographic Archive)

Yes, I graduated with honors. (Craig Allen Photographic Archive)

Anyway…

1 barley pop = 1 can/bottle of beer (12 oz).

Now mix everything well…

Stir your “chili in the making” well. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Stir your “chili in the making” well. (Photo by Craig Allen)

…because, here’s more “dry work”.

TO ADD:

Chilli powder brings the heat. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Chilli powder brings the heat. (Photo by Craig Allen)

3 tablespoons chilli powder.

A cube of beef… NOT the “Borg”. (Photo by Craig Allen)

A cube of beef… NOT the “Borg”. (Photo by Craig Allen)

2 tablespoons instant beef broth (or 6 cubes).

Ground cumin imparts a slightly smoky/earthy flavor. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Ground cumin imparts a slightly smoky/earthy flavor. (Photo by Craig Allen)

2 tablespoons of ground cumin.

Paprika. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Paprika. (Photo by Craig Allen)

2 teaspoons of paprika.

Are you always stirring your chili? EXCELLENT.

Now add:

Oregano. Yes please. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Oregano. Yes please. (Photo by Craig Allen)

2 teaspoons of oregano leaves.

Where is your sugar bowl? (Photo by Craig Allen)

Where is your sugar bowl? (Photo by Craig Allen)

2 teaspoons of sugar.

Just a little cilantro will do. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Just a little cilantro will do. (Photo by Craig Allen)

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander.

I love chocolate.” (Photo Craig Allen)

I love chocolate.” (Photo Craig Allen)

1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa.

Although the original recipe didn’t call for chili beans, I believe chili just isn’t chili without the beans…

I add kidney beans this time. (Photo by Craig Allen)

I add kidney beans this time. (Photo by Craig Allen)

So I add 2 cans (any variety) of beans (drain the liquid).

Finally, add 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (or more if you like your chili HOT, and I do!).

For your information, I didn’t add any this time, because the rest of my family is a group of wimps when it comes to foods with “heat”.

Still with me?

Bring this AWESOME chili to the boil.

It bubbles, as I stir. (Photo by Craig Allen)

It bubbles, as I stir. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Now lower the heat and simmer your chili for 1-2 hours.

You may want to cover the chili while it simmers…I leave the lid on and let it cook a little longer (After all, I doubled the tomato sauce).

Why such a range of simmering times? I let it simmer for almost 2 hours when I used my favorite old metal stockpot.

Now that I’m using a dutch oven (which holds heat better and longer), I find 1 hour to be fine.

IMPORTANT: If you are multitasking while your chili is simmering…stir it well every 10 minutes or so…so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

Chili…ready to serve. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Comfort food…ready to serve. (Photo by Craig Allen)

If your finished pepper is (still) too “liquid”…

If you want to thicken the pepper (even more), in a small bowl, mix:

1 teaspoon cornmeal

1 teaspoon of flour

1 teaspoon lukewarm water

Stir into chili and cook (covered) for an additional 20 minutes.

NOTE: I never found the need for this last step.

Take a spoonful of…wonderful. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Take a spoonful of…wonderful. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Enjoy your new favorite hot, meaty, hearty chili.

As is… or…

Sprinkle grated cheese on top…or sour cream.

Do you have nachos (tortilla chips)? Use a chip as a spoon.

ENJOY.

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