Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chili for a chilly day

Yesterday was the SECOND Storm of the Century this winter.  How much more can metro DC take?  We actually have yet another snow forecast for early next week although currently that doesn't look like a blizzard, just a few inches.

I haven't had chili in ages and this recipe below looked interesting.  I thought I'd give it a try.  As usual, what is at the top is taken directly from the recipe, and below is where I describe my deviations. 


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6 minutes.

Add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned.

Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, bay leaf, chocolate, beef broth, tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and red pepper. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

It is the best if you now refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bay leaf. Reheat gently over medium heat. Serve over hot, drained spaghetti. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

What I actually did:

First, I used the entire onion and it wasn't a small one.  You can't have enough onion, right?
Second, I realized too late that I only had one pound of hamburger.  Ooops.
I used EVOO.
Because I didn't have enough burger, I went a little easy on the chili powder but more or less used the full amount of the other spices.  Perhaps I should have gone for broke.
No cloves
No bay leaf
No beef broth.  I was going to pour in a cup of white wine but the bottle I grabbed was corked and the other bottles were good wine and I didn't want to waste it on chili.
I used about 3 small squares of chocolate.  It was more than an ounce but I wouldn't say it was three ounces.
The overnight refrigeration occurred with the leftovers.

Consensus?  It seemed more like I was making spaghetti sauce than chili, really.  The taste is unique and perhaps a bit rich.  I'm going to see how the overnight settling changed things.  I'm betting the beef broth and a full 2 pounds of meat would have really helped.  A very concentrated flavor and believe it or not I would not say the onions ruled even though there was an entire onion and not just half a cup chopped.

(NUMBER FIVE in 2010)

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