Kitchen Sink Chili
No matter what phase of cooking I’m going through, regardless of how inspired or utterly infatuated and enamored of a topic I may be, at the end of the day, I always find myself wanting, no craving, the good homey feel of a good stew…and nothing says comfort and homey to me like my chili. I consider it the foundation of all the stews and comfort foods in my repertoire. I affectionately call it Kitchen Sink Chili because it incorporates all of the things about chili that I like and I don’t hold anything back! If it’s good and we like it, it’s going in there!
This story all started about 3 years ago, on a cold wintry night with me wanting something spicy to warm the cockles of my heart. Chili it was! I just happened to have a bottle of beer with me at the time and, hey, why not? Into the vat of chili it went and I had a “whoa!” moment. It was delicious! And thus, the starter seed for this chili began. Just in case you didn’t know, beef + beer = magic. It’s almost right up there with e = mc2!
This isn’t your average joe chili…chock full of beans, peppers, spices, chocolate, and corn, then topped with tortillas, sour cream, and green onions, this chili is a amalgamation of various attempts and iterations of many many MANY vats of chili that have prattled through my kitchen. I find that I personally prefer the mixture of veggies in with the beef as it lightens the fare and gives a good variety of texture. But wait…did you say there was chocolate in there? Chocolate???
You bet I did. If you’ve never experimented and experienced this the great combination of chocolate and chili, I invite you to do so. You will be pleasantly surprised. I myself started out with a small dark chocolate square that I melted into a hot bowl of chili. What I found was that the smooth sweetness of the chocolate complements the chili and rounds out its flavor. It takes a bit of the “bite” away without sacrificing any of the flavor. It’s divine!
And if you still don’t believe me as to how good it is, let me tell you this. This dish is one of those magic meals where no one, no matter how picky or health conscious they may be, can resist having a second helping of. It’s just that good! For you ladies, they say that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly…and they be right!
Kitchen Sink Chili
As envisioned by TastyDesu
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
3 serrano chilis, chopped
1 cup whole corn kernels
3 pounds ground beef
5 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons chocolate powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne, according to your tastes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 15- to 16-ounce can prepared kidney beans, drained
Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add beef and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add red bell peppers and serrano chilis, sauté 2 minutes. Add chili powder, cayenne, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer, tomato paste and liquid smoke. Stir to mix well and then mix in chocolate powder. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Mix in beans and corn. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover. Rewarm over low heat before serving.)