Inception Date: 1/9/2016
The Chili Path
This post is part of a series of posts as I explore chili to find the flavors I like. I am simply documenting my journey. The series kickoff post can be found here The Chili Path.
So this time I was going for a beefier base and losing that tangy taste. I decided to lose the tomato paste and the chicken sausage. Then add some beef bouillon, espresso, and up the liquid smoke. I also felt the meat was a little too finely chopped, so moving to chili grind. Overall I am just trying to move to a bolder flavor.
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 lb Pork Ground (Was already on-hand and frozen)
- 1 TBSP Soy Sauce – low sodium (Brand Kikkoman green bottle)
- 1 TBSP Worchesterchire -low sodium ( Frenchs)
- 1 lb Ground Chuck 90/10 – Chili Grind (Fresh)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) Tomatoes – dices fire roasted (Muir, Not Drained)
- 1 can (4 oz) Green Chilies – diced fire roasted (Ortega)
- 1 can Back Beans (15.5 oz) – Goya
- 12 oz Light Beer – (Coors)
- 1 TBSP Chili Powder (Brand McCormicks)
- 1 TBSP Chili Powder (Brand Simply Organic)
- 1 TBSP Cumin (Brand unknown from international market)
- 14 oz Water
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder (Brand Simply Organic)
- 1/4 tsp Ground White Pepper (Brand McCormicks)
- 1 TBSP Mexican Oregano (Brand McCormicks All Natural)
- 1 TBSP Italian Seasonings (Brand Simply Organic)
- 3 Med Bay Leaves
- 2 TBSP Liquid Smoke
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Instant Espresso Coffee (Ferrara)
- 2 tsp Beef Bouillon granulated Sodium Free (Brand Herb Ox)
- 3 cloves Fresh Garlic
- 1 tsp Hot Sauce (Brand Texas Pete Original)
- 1/2 cup Masa Harina (Brand Masa Brosa – Harina de Mai’z)
- 1/2 cup White Vinegar (Brand Wegmans)
- 1 tsp Ancho Chili Powder (Brand McCormicks Gourmet)
- 1 cup Corn Frozen (fire roasted)
I diced a red pepper and red onion, covered lightly with oil, salt, and pepper on baking sheet and put under the broiler on high in my oven until partially blackened to simulate fire roasted. Move to large non-stick chili pot not on heat yet.
Defrosted pork in microwave. In non-stick frying pan without oil I browned the pork adding low sodium soy sauce and low sodium Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper. I did not drain the fat.
Added in chili ground chuck to frying pan and brown to medium well with salt/pepper. Did not drain. Added to pot.
- fire roasted tomatoes including the juice
- dices green chilies
- black beans
- I wiped up spilled black bean juice (It made quite a mess)
- Chili Powers #1 & #2
Started heat on Med. Then added:
- Onion powder
- ground white pepper
- Mexican Oregano
- Italian Seasonings
- bay leaves
- liquid smoke
Brought to boil for about a minute then reduce to slow simmer 15 mins. Then added:
- Red Pepper Flakes
- instant Espresso
- Beef Bouillon
- fresh garlic
- hot sauce
- masa harina
- I added the powder a little at a time to avoid clumping
Brought to boil for about a minute then reduce to slow simmer 15 mins. Then Added:
- Ancho Chili Powder
- Frozen Corn
Let simmer 1/2 hour.
- Me: 2
- Wife: 2
- Avg: 2
This chili had a decent amount of flavor and I could start to feel the spice level this time but it just did not work well. It wasn’t bad mind you there was just nothing there to love. It actually improved quite a bit on day 3 but that was not worth the wait. My wife thought this was about the max level of spice for her taste but for me I was just beginning to taste it. Live and learn.
Thoughts to improve
I missed the sweet component. I will probably revisit this again. I think the biggest mistake on this one was using the frozen pork we had in the freezer. Fresh meat seems to be such an important consideration in the process. I am also trying to decide between fresh spices and dried. While most cookbooks i’ve seen over the years suggest fresh everything I think that layered levels of flavor create the best overall profile. So I actually think a mix of layering of fresh and dry adds both texture and different profiles to give that fuller taste. But I must continue to test this.
Masa Harina. I think the flavor is intersting. It’s sort of a corn mean like taste and sort of a flour taste. I think I need to skip this to see a more traditional chili. It seems to thicken the chili which I like, but the floury taste is a bit of a departure from depth I think. So if I want to smooth it out, add another flavor layer and lighten the color its an interesting profile. But I think I want to lose it for now.
Italian spices. I think this one is situational. There is a bit of a fennel/peppermint like flavor in there that I am not sure is quite right.
Liquid Smoke. I really like the smokey flavor imparted, but adding it early on it got diluted and lost its effective smoke kick. I think this needs to move towards the end of the process.
The beans. When looking for inspiration in cookbooks and the web, the book Chili Madness by Jane Butel suggested that the beans should go in later or they get too mushy. Sounds worth a try to me.