Once Jayne hat weather (see post from two days ago) has arrived it is time to make chili.  I use my cousin Dan’s recipe.  It changes from time to time (and I never strictly follow it as you shall see) so every year my batch of chili is a little different than the previous year.  Let’s get started.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless chuck
  • 2 beers
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon season salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 15oz cans plain tomato sauce
  • 2 16oz cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 15oz cans kidney beans
  • 1 shot tequila
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small habanero pepper (minced)
  • 3 oz semi sweet chocolate

That’s a lot of stuff.

And it looks cool when you’ve arranged it all and take a picture.

🙂

The first step is to brown the meat in a large pan, if you have a big enough one.  I probably should have used my big wok for this, but I’m an idiot and only remember how to make cooking easier once I’ve finished doing things the hard way.  So I used a large pot.  Not ideal, but that’s what happens when your kitchen dumb kicks in.

That’s not 2 1/2 lbs of boneless chuck!  I know.  Remember what I said earlier about not strictly following the recipe?  You’re going to see a lot of that here.  This is roughly 2 lbs of ground venison and 3/4 lbs of venison sausage.  My uncle Mike got into deer hunting a few years back and I have been benefiting ever since.  Maybe I’ll do a post on my venison sausage and sweet corn pizza some time.

While the meat is browning it’s time to start chopping veggies.  Lots of veggies.  Get out the sweet onion, all the bell peppers, and the garlic.

I decided to use 3 green peppers and one red pepper because green peppers were real cheap at the farmer’s market and the red pepper is huge.  I swear that yellow one was green when I bought it.  You can choose whatever color combination of peppers you prefer.

This part of the process wasn’t fun and I’m sure there is an easier way to chop all of those veggies, but there you have it.  Look at all the pretty colors!

Add the onions, peppers, and garlic to the pot/wok/pan while the meat finishes browning.  Add one beer and let the whole thing simmer for 45 minutes.

While you are waiting it’s time to mix some spices and, unfortunately, chop some more veggies.

Put all the dry spices into a small bowl.  If you’re awesome like me you will be able to keep them separated so you can get a good picture of it.

I rule!

Mix it all together and then set it aside.

Now it’s time to chop some more veggies.

😦

I decided not to use canned tomatoes because the farmer’s market had some good looking fresh ones for pretty cheap.  If you are smart you will use the canned stuff.  If you choose to dice your own tomatoes you need to do that before tackling the little green and orange guys on the right hand side of the picture.  There is a very important reason for this.  They need to be the last thing you use the knife and cutting board for because they are hot peppers that will contaminate anything they touch.

The recipe calls for one habanero pepper (the little orange guy in the lower right of the picture).  I suggest only using one.  They pack a punch and you could ruin a whole batch of chili by putting too much habanero in.  Also, they come in different colors.  They are kind of like mood rings.  The orange ones are hot, but the red ones are REALLY hot.  I suggest the orange ones.

The little green ones in the upper right of the picture are jalapenos.  They are not as hot and have a better flavor in my opinion.  I decided to add a few tiny ones because I got around two dozen of them for 50 cents at the farmer’s market.

So when you are ready to dice the hot peppers you will have to put on some protection.

Not that kind of protection!  You have a dirty mind.

That’s more like it!

I suggest thick latex gloves.

You may think that this is a bit overboard.  Not at all.  Try cutting habaneros with your bare hands and then going to the bathroom or rubbing your eyes.  It is not a pleasant experience.  And habanero juice remains potent on any object it touches for hours.

Once you are done cutting the peppers and have added them to a second 10 quart pot (I do not own a second pot so I put them in my crock pot) immediately place the knife and cutting board in the sink, throw the gloves away, and incinerate everything within a 10 mile radius wash your hands.

Add the second beer (I didn’t have a second beer so I used a glass of red wine), shot of tequila, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, honey, and 3/4 of the dry spice mixture (I usually just toss it all in.  I added a pinch of salt this time as well) to the second pot/crock pot.

I added a handful of frozen sweet corn to the mixture as well.  I had a whole bunch left over from all the free sweet corn the farmer’s market kept giving me.

Transfer the meat, etc. to the second pot/crock pot.  Let the whole thing simmer for 30 minutes (I usually let it go a bit longer).  If you still have some of your spice mixture add more of it to taste.

chili!

After making all that granola and chili it’s time to do some dishes!

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