Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jen's Savory Summary- Chuck Wagon Chili

I love this recipe for many reasons.  I've made it so many times I can almost recall it by memory.  It is a perfect fall/winter dinner that just warms your entire home with delicious scents all afternoon.  Also, there aren't any beans in it.  I hate beans.  Loathe them in fact. This is why I've historically said I hate chili which led me to discover this recipe. I Googled chili without beans, which is Texas style in case you were wondering, and up popped this amazing recipe.  In Texas they do not use beans in chili.  I must travel there.

My mes en plas
I made my Sunday Supper on Monday night, since I was gorging myself with buffalo chicken dip on Superbowl Sunday at a friends house.  It's not too difficult of a weeknight recipe.  The only downside is you have to let it simmer for the hour and a half, but I kept stealing spoonfuls of broth during that time.  It's always important to get all your ingredients out prior to starting to cook.   The french call this mes en plas (pronounced "mez on plas").  Easy to remember if you pronounce it meal in place.  There are a lot of onions, but thankfully I had my knives sharpened recently!  For the dark chocolate, I used Mast Brothers chocolate.  They are a small chocolate manufacturer located in Brooklyn, usually sold in high end grocery stores, such as Whole Foods.  I used their Stumptown Coffee kind which added a nice flavor to the chili.
Mast Brothers Chocolat

One for me
One for my homies
All in all, it's a pretty simple recipe.  Get all your spices ready, measure them out, open a lot of cans, chop a lot of onions, and sit back and watch the magic happen.  For beer, I used Guinness.  It's usually the only beer I have in the house and it's great for cooking.  It is such a full flavor beer.  If you use light beer, I find that it just ends up watering down your recipe.  Guinness packs a punch.  Plus any leftovers can be used for car bombs.

San Marzano Tomatoes
Hand crushing tomatoes
For canned tomatoes, I always use San Marzano tomatoes.  They are carried in most grocery stores.  Many chefs regard San Marzano tomatoes as the best in the world.  They were grown in the volcanic soil of Mt. Vesuvius.  I would buy the ones pictured here.  They are supposedly the most authentic variety.  When you use them make sure you hand crush the tomatoes and don't just add them whole.  

Masa Harina, if you were wondering, is corn meal.  You could always take a handful from the cornbread recipe.  It thickens it up and gives the broth some tooth.  If you don't have it some nice whole wheat flour would work as well.  

As I currently writing this, my chili is cooking down and the house smells wonderful.  I can't wait for this simmering to end so I can enjoy my giant bowl of chili!  Enjoy everyone out there.  I hope this warmed you up in these cold months! 

Chili Simmering Away

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