Destressing chili

Still alive. Work is challenging lately and generally I’m just too brain dead to blog. The work blog is suffering, too. But, it is what it is.

This was a very, very long week so I’m taking Saturday easy (I’ve got more work that must be done before monday, but I’ll do it tomorrow, my brain needs some down time). A couple loads of laundry and a big pot of chili with corn bread are about what I can manage today.

Today’s chili started with 1 pound chorizo sausage (supermarket had it in bulk. YUM) and 2 pounds 85/15 ground beef (too lazy to grind my own today). I browned it in our big dutch oven. It took me about 4 batches to do properly.

While the meat was browning I soaked a dried chipotle pepper, a dried new mexico pepper and a dried ancho in some hot water. The ancho smells like tobacco and raisin and a little heat. YUM. I also chopped an onion and a few cloves of garlic.

When the meat was brown, I softened the onion and garlic in some of the rendered fat. Added a good tablespoon or so of cumin. For me, chili is all about the heat and the cumin. Deglazed the pan with a bottle of Firestone double barrel ale (it’s what we had, but this is a nice beer for chili). I sorta de-seeded the peppers – in that I pulled out most of them, and the stems but let some of the seeds go into the pot. Then I added a can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes and about a 1/4 cup of homemade pizza sauce we had leftover from dinner earlier in the week.

I did add a teeny bit of water to the pot, I don’t think we’ll be lacking flavor overall and wanted it a bit looser while it cooked. Nice thing about water is we can always just boil it off for consistency without overwhelming the flavor.

It’s simmering now. Closer to dinner I’ll be doing some cornbread. I have a bit of a fondness for Alex Guarnaschelli’s Cast Iron Cornbread. This also means we may have leftover cornbread for stuffing later in the week. Maybe. Unless we have cornbread and jam for breakfast tomorrow.

Cooking is how I de-stress.


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