Best. Its a bold claim for sure. Its a title that has no doubt caused disagreements, arguments and wars on countless subjects for endless millennia. This is though, my best chilli recipe. You probably have your own too. Good for you. Lets not fight huh, all chilli is good in my book.
Personally, my own chilli recipe skews quite Indian, and can border on a Rogan Josh flavor profile at times. I like the spicy and fruit notes from the cloves, the sweetness of curry and cinnamon and the smokiness of paprika. I love the umami from soy instead of salt and best of all – like all chilli – its 10X better the following day, after an overnight snooze in the fridge.
Undoubtedly this recipe would cause fury from purists, and raised eye brows from anyone used to bog standard chilli. My father in law? Best chilli he ever ate apparently…
Best Chilli Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: an hour to as long as like
5 tbsp canola oil
1.5 sweet onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp chile powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
14 ounces beef stock
6 ounces canned tomato puree
14 ounces canned tomatoes
1 can chilli beans
1 pound ground beef (80/20 or 85/15)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 lime (juice of)
1 tsp sugar
1. Sautee chopped onions in canola oil over a medium heat until browned – not burned. Takes about 25-30 minutes.
2. Stir in garlic, cook another couple minutes, till oil is perfumed.
3. Add in first spice dump of oregano, cumin, cinnamon stick, smoked paprika, chile powder, cayenne powder and curry powder. Cook for one minute in oil, but don’t scorch the spices.
4. Add in can of tomatoes first, their acidity will deglaze the pan. Stir all browned bits off bottom of pan and add in can of tomato puree, beef stock and a handful of cilantto (stems and leaves).
5. Next, puree the whole lot. I use a Cuisinart immersion blender, to blend right in the pot, it’s a life saver. Be careful not to puree the cinnamon stick but it should remain in the recipe until serving.
6. Cover sauce and reduce to low-heat.
7. Cook ground beef in a little more canola oil. I like to season mine in a Oaxacan spice blend from www.thespicehouse.com – its good stuff.
8. When browned, add cooked beef and juices to chilli sauce. Also add a can of pinto beans. I like to use a SW brand chilli beans, which are pintos with a tomato based sauce seasoned with garlic, oregano etc.
9. Stir and cook for at least 30 minutes.
10. Add juice of one lime, cloves, cumin, soy and another handful of cilantro (leaves only this time), cook for another 30 minutes at least. The longer you cook, the better the flavors will integrate. Do note cumin loses its potency the longer you cook, so you might want to dump a little more in later if cook for a long period.
11. Serve with white rice and maybe sides of guacamole and salsa if the mood strikes.