It’s a rainy Friday, and I had time to start dinner early, so it was a perfect afternoon to make chili. Today I experimented with cutting down my recipe (October 2013 archives) so the Sage hubby & I don’t have such a huge quantity of chili leftover for the two of us. This is my small-batch chili recipe:
1 lb chili grind beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 small/medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped
“What do you do with the other 1/2 a beer?” you ask. Pour the cook a small glass is an obvious solution. I recommend also making Trader Joe’s beer bread to serve with the chili, but the bread recipe requires its own full bottle of beer.
3 beef bouillon cubes
1 small can tomato sauce (I prefer no salt added)
1 15 oz can sliced tomatoes (I prefer no salt added)
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
1 can light red kidney beans
In a cast iron skillet, brown meat in batches, 1/2 pound at a time. Season each batch with kosher salt + fresh ground pepper + oregano + paprika. As each batch browns, push it to the edges of the skillet to make room in the hot center of the skillet for the next batch. When all meat is browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a large chili pot.
Pour off most of the excess fat from the skillet but reserve some plus the brown bits. Add a little olive oil to the skillet; saute the onions and garlic. Transfer the sauté mixture to the chili pot. Add a splash of beer to the skillet to deglaze the pan, and scrape all the brown goodness from the skillet into the chili pot. (Pour a small glass of beer for the cook so 1/2 beer is left for the chili.)
Add to the chili pot the rest of the beer + bouillon cubes + tomato sauce + tomatoes, including the liquid + spices + hot sauce. Simmer, simmer, simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings.
When about ready to serve, add kidney beans, including the liquid. Simmer, simmer for a little while longer to warm the beans.
Serve with Trader Joe’s beer bread or any crusty bread or corn muffins. Use leftover chili to make Frito pie by serving over corn chips and topping with shredded cheddar cheese. A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt is good to mellow the spices.