Friday, February 6, 2009

Kristen's Chili

Ok, I know! I know the Superbowl was last Sunday and maybe chili season ends with football season. But it's really, really good... Maybe you can serve it at your, um, Grammy watching party this Sunday? And honestly, I don't think you'll blame me. How can I be blogging about chili when this little love muffin is running around distracting me from chopping up peppers??

And the dog ain't bad either! (ba-dum!) I kid, I kid. We're puppy sitting for Megan's cousin this week and Mimi has been an absolute joy to have around. Look at how she snuggles during super bowl prep! And please note my t-shirt: I'm wearing it with irony.

Where was I? What were we making? Aaah yes. Kristen's Chili. I think it's proper name would actually be Kristen Iverson's Award Winning Chili since she won the Great WGA Chili Cook-Off of 2008.
Pardon the slightly crappy photo of the ingredients. Also, I didn't photograph the meat because frankly, ground beef is not lovely in any way. But it tastes so. good. In fact one of the best things about this chili is that it contains both ground beef and chunks of stew meat. It also contains beans and tomatoes, which may offend some purists but I think it's delicious. And here, I think, is why:

I love the way the recipe is written: "at least 2 tbsp each: crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, salt, cumin, dill weed, hot chili powder, regular chili powder, celery salt, parsley, 3 tbsp garlic powder." But that's not quite the way I did it. I ran out of garlic powder, but I added Aleppo pepper. I didn't have any celery salt at all but I added some chopped chipotles. I didn't want to use a beer I would drink, so I bought a teensy weensy can of Bud Light, and since I cut the recipe down (I made a 3/4 batch or so) I used heaping tablespoons instead of 2 tablespoons of the spices.

All's I'm sayin' is feel free to take some liberties. Kristen never makes it the same way twice but it always turns out delicious.

It's spicy, so have some sour cream and cheese around to cool it down a bit for the wimps (me) and some hot sauce to crank it up for the crazies (ahem, you know who you are). It's GREAT in bread bowls, but I got so excited I forgot to take pictures of them. This is the last serving of leftovers.

Kristen Iverson's Award Winning Chili
parenthetical notes are from Kristen, not me-acb

For the Vegetables:
olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
3-4 small Hungarian yellow peppers, chopped with seeds
2 -3 jalapenos, chopped with or without seeds (I also buy a couple more random peppers and throw them in)

2.5 pounds ground sirloin
1 tbsp butter
1 small white onion, peeled, chopped
1 pound beef stew meat
olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
celery salt and pepper

3 cans beans (I use an assortment- light and dark red kidney, white cannelini, whatever)
2 cans green chilies (hot or mild)
3 cans (28 oz each) diced tomatoes
1 can (28 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz) zesty diced tomatoes
at least 2 tbsp each: crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, salt, cumin, dill weed, hot chili powder, regular chili powder, celery salt, parsley
3 tbsp garlic powder
hot sauce (I use Frank's, Tabasco, and one other one we have in our house) (I skipped this-acb)
1 12 oz beer

In a large skillet, heat however much olive oil is needed and saute red onion, celery, green pepper, jalapenos, and Hungarian peppers (or whatever peppers you buy) until softened. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In a large stock pot, the one you are going to cook all the chili in, saute the white onion and garlic in olive oil and butter for a minute or two. Add the ground sirloin, some celery salt and pepper and brown the ground sirloin leaving the fat in the pot. In a large skillet (I spooned all the sauteed veggies into another bowl and then threw the beef in the original skillet) heat some more olive oil and brown the beef stew meat.

Pour the stew meat (with the liquid) and sauteed vegetables to the large stock pot with the ground sirloin. Add all the canned stuff (tomatoes, beans, chilies) and spices (once everything is in the pot I just start dumping all the spices in, you don't have to measure everything out exactly)

Bring to boil and then reduce to low heat, let simmer uncovered, stirring often, until desired thickness. I let it simmer about 5-6 hours, the longer the better.

ta-dahhhhhh! serves 20.

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