Okay, Bean Lovers

digitS'

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What are the Secrets for the Best Chili?

Here is a question or two:
  • Ratio of meat to beans?
  • Cooking time?
  • Does black pepper or anything besides Capsicum play a role in spiciness?

I would appreciate your help.

Steve
 

meadow

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My family is fond of a recipe that calls for 1 cup of dark beer. Their conclusion is that "Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is very good; Stone Brewing Co's Smoked Porter knocks it out of the park."

In answer to your question though, we prefer a complexity and depth of flavor rather than spiciness; we include black pepper. It seems (to me) that everyone has a different expectation as to ratio of meat to beans, or whether beans are even an ingredient at all. DH and I both grew up in [nearly] pinto-exclusive households, and we expect beans to play an important role in the making of chili. (eta: although, ironically, our favorite recipe uses red kidney beans)
 

ducks4you

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IMHO ONLY:
--Ratio of meat to beans?
Depends on how much you Like beans
--Cooking time?
Longer is better
--Does black pepper or anything besides Capsicum play a role in spiciness?
Dunno...don't Think so. We have never added pepper to the chili.
DH's chili, I think, is unique. It is really tomatoes...with chili.
We start with crock-potting the beans with my jarred up tomatoes that have been pureed. I takes up to 36 hourse to soften them, BUT, no salt added. Then we add More pureed tomatoes, usually 6 quarts,sometimes more.
We use hamburger, 08/20 or 90/10 and fry it up with onions and sweet peppers.
We add chili sauce and cumin, too.
Jury is still out on how to add spiciness. Last Fall (for the Salsa Party,) I cut up jalepenoes fresh, without the seeds. I am thinking about pulverizing dehydrated jalepanoes when we make out Valentine's Day weekend chili.
MOST IMPORTANT--do NOT add big chunks of Any hot pepper! Whoever bites into them gets the full capsaicin punch in the mouth. My friends showed me that you take the time to cut fresh hot peppers into the tiniest pieces for a good salsa, also a good chili.
Good luck on your chili!! You'll figure out how to make it the way that you like by making a few batches. :hugs
 

flowerbug

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TexMex chili is different than Mexican chili.

chili with beans i prefer the beans to be a firm ones that don't fall apart in cooking. spices used only chili powder and perhaps some garlic salt. tomato chunks, onions, celery, green pepper or red pepper all ok. hot chili peppers can give it some more depth of chili flavors over the usual ground up chili blend. i don't like black pepper on many things or in many things.

a Mexican style chili is roasted chilis that can be blended up into a powder and then cooked with meat and garlic and a little flour. frying the meat and garlic is when i add the flour for thickening using the fat to fry the flour. add chili powder and water after the meat is browned and let simmer until done. as people's tastes do vary how hot they might want this to be will influence their selection of dried chilis or if they want a blend. once you start adding beans, onions, tomatoes, etc. then you've gone into a different style of chili.
 

Pulsegleaner

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My family is fond of a recipe that calls for 1 cup of dark beer. Their conclusion is that "Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is very good; Stone Brewing Co's Smoked Porter knocks it out of the park."
I'm not an authority on this (since I don't eat chili) but based on some experiments I have done with fried fish batter, if those two beers are good choices, you might want to look into Harvestoun's Old Engine Oil, that being the darkest beer I know (well, technically Ravenswood is darker but I haven't seen that in about ten years. Plus I'm not sure you'd want beer that sort of tastes like Scotch for something like this). North Coast Brewing Company's Old Rasputin might work as well.

And if you want to up the smokiness of the Chili, a bit of Ancho might not hurt.
 

meadow

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a Mexican style chili is roasted chilis that can be blended up into a powder and then cooked with meat and garlic and a little flour.
Perhaps Mexican chili varies by region?

I was taught to use fresh hot chilis (the small, yellowish-green ones), boiled until tender. The heat is controlled by how many seeds are included. The cooking water is reserved for later use (personally, I dump any liquid from the interior of the chili into this reserved water too). The woman that taught me didn't use flour, and there was no thickening stage.

Meat is any inexpensive cut of pork, diced small (although we usually use pork shoulder chunks). Seasonings are onion, garlic, a splash of reserved chili-cooking water, salt & pepper to taste. [eta: and she also used tomatoes]

The fresh batch of chili is always served over pinto beans which have been simmered for hours* (here is where you get thickening). Leftover chili is often served over eggs for breakfast, or with quesadillas, or whatever.

eta: note - the beans are still whole-ish, but the broth has a good amount of body to it
 
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flowerbug

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Perhaps Mexican chili varies by region?

i'm sure it can, i'm just passing along what version i was taught and how i see the differences between the two styles i eat the most often. the one i'm talking about is from the Santa Fe and Pecos NM area and i'm not sure how far it goes back but quite a long time as my sister's ex-husband's Mom has gotta be in her 90s.

how it was used was for pretty much any way you wanted to, there was no requirement for beans, or even the kind of meat, whatever was available and sometimes made without meat at all. never tomatoes. tomatoes would be used in other things and the chili sauce added, but never tomatoes in the chili itself. also never fresh chilis. fresh chilis were instead used in season and the dish was specificly called Green Chili Stew and in that area the Hatch Green Chilis are still a big event. my SIL has a box shipped to her each year so my brother can roast them up and then they put them in the freezer. some years hotter than others. always good. :)
 

meadow

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i'm sure it can, i'm just passing along what version i was taught and how i see the differences between the two styles i eat the most often. the one i'm talking about is from the Santa Fe and Pecos NM area and i'm not sure how far it goes back but quite a long time as my sister's ex-husband's Mom has gotta be in her 90s.

how it was used was for pretty much any way you wanted to, there was no requirement for beans, or even the kind of meat, whatever was available and sometimes made without meat at all. never tomatoes. tomatoes would be used in other things and the chili sauce added, but never tomatoes in the chili itself. also never fresh chilis. fresh chilis were instead used in season and the dish was specificly called Green Chili Stew and in that area the Hatch Green Chilis are still a big event. my SIL has a box shipped to her each year so my brother can roast them up and then they put them in the freezer. some years hotter than others. always good. :)
Ah, yes, that makes sense. I can't recall the area they were from, but they wound up in Southern Texas (geez, I can't even remember that town!) and then to California. All of this talk of food and old recipes makes me homesick, but in a good way. 😊 My own family was very much Tex-Mex. Ground beef, pinto beans, chili powder.. and not sure what else besides onion (probably cumin), but that was basically it. [oh yeah, and tomatoes! Wish I could drink coffee.. I really need some caffeine! 🙄 ]
 

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@digitS' have you ever had Cincinatti style chili? that's a lot more complicated and has layers of flavors going on. plus i do love a good chilidog...
 

digitS'

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I also like chilidogs.

No, I have no experience with that dish. Wikipedia says, "... spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove ..."

I'm having trouble imagining !
 

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