The Recipe and Process for Great Chili

This will make large pot of chili. I always use our Dutch oven style pot to make it. Fortunately the recipe is somewhat incremental and could be split in half fairly easily.

Chili making is a process and the process must be followed to yield a consistent product that will have them begging for more. For that reason I will spend more time than most recipes writers do talking about the process.

3 pound chub of ground chuck divided in half.
3 - 15 oz. can of dark red kidney beans
1 - 15 oz can of black beans
1 - 46 oz can of tomato juice
1 - 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 med-lg sweet onion (255-260g or 1 cup finely diced)
Mexene Chili blend to taste (about 2-3 TBS.)
1-1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground black pepper
1/4 - 1/3 cup of brown sugar (I prefer 1/3, wife prefers 1/4)

Pre-dice your onions and set aside. Bring your pan up to medium heat, pick off and add small chunks of meat to the pan. Add 1/2 tsp each of salt and black pepper at this time. As it starts to cook smash it into smaller pieces using an old fashioned loop potato masher. You will repeat this mashing process several times as the meat continues to cook. You could use a stick blender but sometimes that makes it a little too fine. As the meat starts to grey out add 1/2 of your onions and continue to cook.

While this batch is cooking down, open and rinse your beans very well under running warm water. I do them one can at a time rinsing until all the sludge and foam disappears. I set them aside and then use the same colander to drain the meat.

You must continue cooking until all the added water evaporates, the meat turns brown and the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan. This is an extremely important step. Pour or spoon the meat into a colander to allow the grease to mostly drain.

I do not deglaze the pan after the first batch of meat. The second batch of meat will do that for you. Repeat the entire process with the other half of the meat and onions and with the same amounts of salt and pepper. Transfer the first batch of meat to a different dish so that you are not pouring fresh grease onto the drained meat.

Wile this second batch cooks, I smash or run 2+ cans worth of the kidney beans though the food processor. You aren't making refried beans though some of it will turn to paste. You want bits and pieces of these smashed beans to remain.

Use a small glass (12 oz) full of crushed ice and water to deglaze the pan return the pan, including the liquid, to the stove, add the first batch of meat, the can of tomato juice and the diced tomatoes. Keep it on a moderate heat. Add the smashed beans to the mix and when the second batch of meat is fully drained add it to the mix. Now is the time to add 2 level TBS of the Mexene blend, the brown sugar and the final 1/2 tsp of salt (to taste). At first the smashed beans will be a lumpy mess but will smooth out as the mixture warms.

Once it smooths out, add the remaining whole beans, reduce the heat to very low and let it meld for an hour or two. This step could be in a large crock pot if you want to dirty some more dishes. The mixture will look a bit runny but as it simmers and ages overnight in the fridge that bean starch will thicken it up.

That final TBS of Mexene or part of it is your call and it is to taste after the pot has simmered a bit. I do but you may not want it.

Serve Cincinnati style over some fresh cooked spaghetti, with optional Cheddar cheese and / or sour cream and you have a complete meal. For a Tex-Mex style use crumbled Fritos or just plain tortilla chips

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Inspired Ink posted    Posted:  02-12-2012
I might have to check out your process, since you put so much importance on it. I followed you from the forum, and I don't usually read chili recipes since I make pretty good chili already, but this was your most recent post. I'm rather intrigued by the bean-mashing and using that step to thicken. I use more tomato juice (wait, did you use tomatoes???) and I tend to thicken mine with corn starch if it needs thickening, and that's one step I'd actually like to change, so I think I will give your bean starch thickener a try. :) Looking forward to the results! Love me some good chili!!! Oh, and I like mine with cornbread instead of fritos. :)
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