Attempting a good chili
Reviving one of my old threads for an update.
I've been playing around with my chili recipe again, and have made a few changes. The first is ground chuck for the cubed chuck. While in my initial experiments the cubed chuck made for a more meaty experience - having whole chunks of beef - I found myself always thinking about the chili of my youth made with cheap ground beef. The same for beans. We tended to have more beans than meat for economic reasons which always led me to want an "upscale" bean-less chili as a child. I now find 1-C of soaked beans per pound of ground beef to be a perfect ratio for me - they actually bring a bit of flavor and texture that I was missing!
I've also started making a chili powder instead of a chile sauce. The old method forced me to roast the dried chiles and spices just before cooking (producing great flavor), but so long as the chiles are roasted and ground within a few weeks of using them they seem to produce similar end results.
My chili now starts in a big roasting pan. After rendering the bacon fat, I remove the strips (to mince and add later) and load the pan with onion, bell peppers, garlic, ground beef, and tomato paste. This is popped in a 550ºF oven until the onions are caramelized and the beef is dark and crispy on it's edges. The tomato paste mixes into the fat with the onions forming a sofrito. I deglaze with beer, and put it all into a pot with the milled-tomatoes. I add a healthy amount of my fresh Chili powder, along with some chipotle in adobo that I force through a mesh strainer. The soaked beans go in with a healthy scoop of homemade Glace de Viande, and everything is simmered in the oven for three hours.
So a slight return to my roots along with some simplification.