The Shady Porch: Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe


Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe

Hi everybody! Every year, when the breezes start to cool and the leaves start to fall, I add chili to our menu. We like ours Cincinnati-style - over spaghetti and topped with shredded cheese and diced onions. OMGoodness! It is sooo good! I'm one of those cooks that rarely makes anything the same way twice and chili is no exception. I am sharing a Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe that has just the right combination of spice and nice. 
Sweet and Spicy Chili
Very, Very Good Chili
For the Texas Star Chili Cook-off, I turned, for some ingredient inspiration, to Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen cookbook.  Chef Bayless uses ancho chiles, which I've never tried (and a lot more garlic than I've used before), to create a sweet-and-spicy seasoning paste as the base for the chili. Let me state now, I can not eat really hot spicy stuff, so this will be adjusted so it's mild and palatable for anyone. Promise! To those that like the heat, add cayenne pepper flakes and/or jalapeno peppers to your serving of chili. 

Sweet & Spicy Chili 
2 lbs. lean ground beef or ground sirloin
2 lbs. red kidney beans
ancho seasoning paste (see above)
1 med. chopped onion
32 oz. beef broth
salt and sugar to taste

Sweet & Spicy Ancho Seasoning Paste
(as I prepared it)
8 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 T. dried ancho chili seasoning *  
1 1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. pepper
1/8 t. cumin
1/4. t ground cloves
2/3 cup beef broth
1 t. salt (approx.)
*- the recipe called for fresh roasted ancho chiles, but we could not find them, therefore ours turned out more liquid than paste)

In a cast iron skillet lined with aluminum foil roast the unpeeled garlic, turning occasionally, until soft when pressed between your fingers, (it will have blackened in a few spots) about 15 minutes. Cool, then slip off the papery skins and roughly chop. 

In a blender or mini food processor, add chopped garlic, ancho seasoning, oregano, cumin, and cloves. Add the beef broth and puree, scraping and stirring until blended. 
Sweet and Spicy Chili
Crock Pot of Chili

Sweet & Spicy Chili

In a dutch oven or heavy cast iron skillet, fry 2 lbs. of lean ground beef (we used 93/7 for this recipe) in 1-2T. of olive oil and one medium chopped onion over medium heat, stirring to break up clumps, until nicely browned. Drain most of the fat, if any. (With really lean beef, this is not an issue.) Stir in the ancho seasoning paste (see recipe above), until well blended.

Then, using a large crock pot, I added the meat mixture to 2 lb. of uncooked red kidney beans. I added the beef broth (or water) until everything was moving freely. Cover and cook on high until the beans are cooked - approx 8 hours. If 8 hours is not in your schedule, use canned kidney beans and cook for 3-4 hours (this is mainly to allow the flavors to mingle and to heat the chili since it is completely cooked at this point.)

After tasting, if you like less intense flavor, add 1 cup or so of blended canned tomatoes and water until you reach desired flavor. In the event you get the chili too thin, mix a little mas harina (or flour and water) and then whisk into the chili during the last few minutes of simmering.
Sweet and Spicy Chili by The Shady Porch
Chili served on spaghetti with onions 
& shredded cheeses

I want to give a shout out to our friend, and fellow Hammy grad, Bill Biel of Mississippi. He sent us a Bayou Cuisine kit over the part of the kit we received 2 lbs of  Camellia Red Kidneys (a famous New Orleans red bean) that we used in this batch of chili. The combination of the ancho seasoning and the kidney beans made this chili experience one worthy of a cook-off for sure!