This Saturday there is a chili cook off at the Lakehurst Riverside Campground here in Maquoketa (at Maquoketa Dam). Great weather to make chili again. Thought I’d share a hearty chili recipe.
2 tbs. red chili powder
1 tbs. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. thyme
4 strips bacon
2 lbs. lean hamburger
1 medium white onion
3 cloves garlic
3 tsp. pepper jelly
1 14 oz. can whole tomatoes
2 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 tbs. lime juice
1 14 oz. can red kidney beans or chili bean, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. of flax seed (optional)
Grated cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend) and chopped green onion for garnish
Finely chop your onions and garlic and set aside.
In a small bowl mix the chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, and thyme. Mix in a little water so that chili forms a light paste. Set aside.
Brown your chopped bacon until crisp and place on a paper towel. Pour bacon fat from the pan into a separate container, reserve.
Increase heat to medium, add back in 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Brown the beef. Salt and pepper it. Remove beef and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of bacon fat to the pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño pepper jelly, cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Into a 6 quart thick bottomed Dutch oven, put onion chili mixture, beef, bacon, tomatoes (break up the whole tomatoes with your fingers as you put them in the pot), tomato juice, and lime juice. Heat the chili on medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low.
Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Then uncover and cook for another half hour, keeping the temperature at a place where you can maintain a simmer.
Gently mix in the kidney beans. Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings. Depending on the acidity of the tomatoes and lime juice you may need a little sugar to bring the stew to balance. At this point you can also add a little more chili powder or jalapeño pepper jelly if you desire more heat also. Chili is one of those dishes I like to toss the flax seed in for all the extra benefits that comes with it. This is optional on your part.
You may also substitute sugar and chopped jalapeno in place of jalapeño jelly. I make a bunch of it each fall and use it for heat and sweet in all of my chili. Just add a table spoon of white or brown sugar and and finely chopped deseeded jalapeño in place of the jelly. Taste and see if you think it needs more sugar. I blogged the jelly recipe last month. Simmer until chili thickens.
Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips. The chips make a nice garnish also.
Be happy and may God bless you and yours.