Monday, December 13, 2010

Beer Coffee Chili

All I really want for Christmas is an internet connection. BLT has been on the shelf during a brief but frustrating diagnostical process. How does a network interface card just 'go bad' anyway? Sorry Santa, I had to get to Best Buy before you this year. Maybe you could bring me this instead?

Beer and coffee chili? Yes- this is Four Loko style! You have heard of this shit right? That's some nasty nasty crap in a can. I bet it tastes like a purple highlighter. And I bet there's a few college kids gettin fuckered up on it tonight. 4 beers in one can? That's convenient.

Don't be too cautious because of the coffee- it adds just a bit of depth, it's not coffee-flavored. I know you're not concerned about adding the beer.

Want to impress your date or got the boss coming over for dinner? (does anyone do that anymore?) Use better meat. Instead of ground beef, which is just fine in my book, you could get some nice (and cheap, still) blade steak, about 3/4" thick and cut into 3/4" cubes. Dry, season, and brown on all sides in hot oil, then toss in the chili using a slotted spoon.

Please ensure that you are using fresh, high-quality chili powder. Has yours been sitting in the cupboard for 9 months? That's not gonna be tasty. Replace your spices every six months, and go to a real store! That shit in the glass jar with the red top is shit. If you want to eat shit, then you can ignore this advice.

I have found a new love lately- a life-changer. Those resealable tomato paste tubes, in lieu of tiny little cans (where you might waste a good portion if not frozen away) that are a pain in the ass to open, are fantastic. Paste in a tube. Good work.

Gotta take Sparky for a walk? Worried about an unattended flame? No, not Clay Aiken. Instead of simmering on the cook top, you can park this in a low oven, bout 300F or so, for about 90 minutes. The gentle oven heat will not burn the chili while it is unstirred.

Oh yeah- almost forgot- remove the bay leaves before serving! That ain't gonna impress yo date.

Beer Coffee Chili
6-8 servings

1 TB butter
2 C onion, large dice (about 1 large, 2-3 med)
2 ts brown sugar
freshly cracked black pepper
2 bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. 80% ground beef or sirloin
12 oz lager beer (High Life preferred)
1/4 C chili powder, medium
2 ts ancho chili powder
1 ts cayenne pepper
2 ts smoked sweet paprika
1/2 C black coffee
2 bay leaves
15 oz crushed tomatoes
40-50 oz mixed beans (I like pinto and kidneys)
1/4 C Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
Your favorite toppings

Get out that big ass cast iron skillet. Make sure you gots some tupperwares ready to go too, as one rule of making chili is to go large format. Over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the oil, cook the onions for a couple minutes stirring a couple times. Add the brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring occasioinaly, for about 7 minutes, until the sugars have caramelized a bit. Add the bell peppers in a layer, then the garlic. Season with S&P and let sit for a couple minutes, then turn the heat down to low and stir well, cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the meat and cook until browned, stirring often. Once the meat has browned, add the beer and scrape any fond on the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients- seasonings, coffee, tomatoes, bay leaves, beans. Season again with salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered (barely a simmer) over low heat for at least 30 minutes, 60 minutes preferred. Stir occassionaly. When you is ready, spoon into servings bowls and then top with the good stuff- freshly shredded cheddar cheese, finely diced raw red onion, finely diced jalapeno (or habanero!) pepper, sour cream, oyster crackers, saltines, you can put herring on there if you like. And some of this would pair nicely.


Dressed up-

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