Click to view a larger imageAs my first recipe post I have chosen that oh so quintessential American comfort food -- chili. It's winter, and that generally means it's cold and fairly miserable outside. There is something magical about coming in from the cold and smelling that aroma of dinner slowly cooking. It's almost like an airborne appetizer. As an added bonus, you get the peace of knowing dinner is just a bowl and spoon away.

I can't count the number of chili concoctions I've created over the years, but this one is a keeper. You know it's a keeper when the family raves about it and your six year old daughter eats two bowls. That alone is enough to warm this dad's heart.

There is a point in this recipe where your mind will likely come screeching to a full stop as you re-read the ingredient. Yes, it's coffee. As I was cooking this I had that unmistakable "it just needs something" feeling that all foodies know, and hopefully embrace. I felt it lacked that robust hearty flavor that chili should have. I pondered it for a minute and thought, "Coffee! I'll try that." It gave me just what I was after and the family was completely oblivious. That is often the true test of a quality "it just needs something" solution. In any event, please resist the urge to leave out the coffee, lest you'll be right back to needing something.

For you chili purists, yes there are beans, beans, and more beans. I'm originally from northeast Ohio, and that's just how I think chili ought to be. If you are offended, I apologize. Be glad I'm not from Cincinnati where they add cinnamon and spaghetti. Try it under the cover of darkness and let me know what you think.

OK, enough waxing philosophical, let's get to it.

Patio Daddio Chili #127


2 1/2 lbs Ground beef (15% fat)
3 stalks Celery, chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 med Yellow onions, chopped medium (about 2 1/2 cups)
7 cups Water
1 can (28 oz) Crushed tomatoes (splurge and get the expensive stuff)
1 can (15oz) Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15oz) Black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15oz) Dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15oz) Blackeye peas, drained and rinsed
2 cans (10oz) Diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 cans (6 oz) Tomato paste
1/2 c Ketchup (Heinz, of course)
3 Tbs New Mexico chile powder (regular chili powder will work)
3 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Ground cumin (not two years old, please)
2 Tbs Garlic salt
2 Tbs Kosher salt
2 tsp Instant coffee (or 1/4 cup very, very strongly brewed)

Brown the ground beef in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Do not drain.

Add the celery and onion and cook until just the onion is translucent.

Add all of the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Cover and let cook at a low simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve with cornbread and enjoy.

Tip:
Dump all of the beans in a colander. Drain and rinse them using your sink sprayer while gently tossing them.

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3 Comments:
Blogger Don said...
Have you ever tried diced chuck (1/4" or 1/2" dice)? I much prefer it to hamburger. I've also used ordinary ground coffee (rather than instant) and it just disappears into the food.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Yeah, I've tried just about every form of chili meat.
Anonymous Max Gonzales said...
I'm intrigued by several of your recipes. Made this chili today. Followed the recipe, except I cooked it in a slow cooker. Turned out fantastic! Family loved it and I'm definitely doing it again. Thanks for sharing.

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