Fall Chili

So I make chili. I think it’s pretty good chili too. My good friend Bryan, from the great state of Texas thinks it’s the best Chili he’s had (Don’t tell his family). What’s my secret? Think like a cowboy. Think like cooky, from city slickers, or just think like John Wayne. Whoever you decide to conjure up in your head, just make sure they can think on their feet, because that’s the basis we’ll be working from.

I got my Chili making method from my mom and aunt bear I think. It all started from the way I learned to make Curry- using over ripened bananas as a thickener, coffee for that earthy taste, but that’s another recipe.
On with it, already!



Fall Chili
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced thinly with the grain for caramelization.
  • 1 head of roasted garlic, mashed (roast at 325º for ½ hour, then 200º for an hour, you can do this days ahead and it's easier to de-clove cold)
  • 8 oz. of Fresh Apple Cider (that's what I had left in the jug)
  • 8 oz. of leftover coffee (again- whatever's in the pot)
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of dried mixed beans (pinto, black, kidney, etc...)
  • 5 Guajillo Chili's (dried)- slice a small lengthwise cut into them to allow liquid to enter
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 ceylon cinnamon stick bound with butcher's twine
  • 3 TB of Penzey's medium Chili spice blend
  • 1 tb of Penzeys BBQ of the Americas or BBQ 3000
  • 2-3 TB of dried Mexican Oregano
  • 1 TB of Paprika
  • 1 28oz can of Muir Glen crushed fire roasted tomatoes.
  • 3 lbs of Boneless beef Short ribs (grind half of it with coarse blade- Cut into strips 1"x1", throw it in the freezer for a half hour before grinding, flip once)
  • 2-3 TB of Molasses
  • ¼ bar of a high quality, high cocoa dark dark chocolate
  1. I start by caramelizing the onions, but I stop just short of caramelization- so count on about a half hour to 45 mins in a medium hot cast iron or steel clad aluminum 6-8 qt pot. Put the onions in the pot cold and then turn on the heat- you won't need any oil. Turn it down to medium low after a half hour, avoid stirring it for the first 15 mins. Put the onions aside in a bowl.
  2. Pour the cider into the pot to deglaze it and stir all the brown bits to dissolve. Add the chicken stock, Chilis Cinnamon, Chili Spice, BBQ spice, Oregano, and Paprika. Keep the pan on medium high heat. Cover and let simmer for a half hour. remove the Chilis and let them cool. Rinse and check the beans for pebbles (yes I've found pebbled on numerous occasions). Cook covered on medium heat for 40 mins. Add the coffee, molasses and chocolate
  3. Grind half the beef and cook in a hot pan until brown in 2 batches, setting each aside into the bowl of onions. Grill the other half of the beef, seasoned with Salt and Pepper, cook until well browned on the outside. Le the grilled beef rest for 5 minutes. While you're resting the beef, carefully scrape the flesh from the inside of the chilis, avoiding the seeds- toss as many seeds as you can out, we're looking for the flavor of these chilis, not the heat (don't worry, they have very respectable heat already). Dump this flesh into the beans and stock.
  4. Dump the ground beef, onions, beans and stock into a large (8 quart) pot and add the can of tomatoes.
  5. Slice the beef into bite sized cubes and put this into the mix as well.
  6. Cook on medium low heat for 2-3 hours or until beans and cubed beef are tender. You can also finish this in the oven, which will require less stirring, etc...
  7. Enjoy!