Sunday, October 19, 2008

The continuing quest to satisfy my craving

Only after the second batch do I think I have a respectable recipe. I modified the last recipe after reading a blog authored by "Grumpy Beer Geek". In his notes on the 13th batch he mentions a note from a Mr. X. who talks about the importance of Swanson's Beef Broth instead of much of the water he'd been using and cider vinegar to replace white vinegar. Mr. X talks about simmering for 12 hours and adding torula yeast. I looked into torula yeast. Apparently it is used as a flavorant in human and pet foods. The stuff is made as a byproduct of paper production. I dunno about you, but I'm not too keen to eat that. I have to admit that I did deviate from the idea of the second recipe whilst I made it. I managed to leave the water and beef broth on the stove as I went to the store. That was a nasty mess. With only a can of broth left I turned to a beef bullion cube. I'll have to prove out the beef broth without the bullion the next time round. My wife also mentioned that she believed that this recipe was a little spicier than the last time. Perhaps I'll cut back on the red pepper as well. Another thing I learned was that lean ground beef is easier to work with. The first recipe required the chili to be refrigerated overnight so that fat could be skimmed off the top. Using 10 percent or leaner ground beef eliminates this step and leaves the tongue cleaner. This last time I skimped and used 80/20. I was disappointed with the fat and was unable to remove it from the chili even after chilling overnight. I still recommend chilling overnight to allow the flavors to better meld- just as you would with regular chilis or stews. You just can't beat anything like this the second night. Here is the recipe I plan to follow:

1 qt. water
2 cups Swanson's Beef Broth
2 lbs. ground beef- 90% lean or more.
2 med. onions, finely chopped
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
5 whole allspice or 1/2 tsp. ground
5 whole cloves
1 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
3.5 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. Cider Vinegar
1 whole bay leaf
1.5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add ground beef to water. Stir until beef separates to a fine texture (Update- mash it by hand until it breaks up into fine bits- it's not for the feint of heart or those who do not like squishy textures, but it guarantees that the beef is properly broken up) and simmer for 30 minutes. Add all other ingredients. Stir to blend and simmer uncovered for about 3 hours. Pot may be covered the last hour after desired consistency is reached. Chill overnight.

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