Chili is about the easiest thing to make in the kitchen but it never seems to taste the same every time I make it. Probably because it’s a kitchen-sink type of thing; I’ll toss in whatever is left in the fridge, usually just before we’re about to hit the grocery.
However, today’s chili was exceptional and I figured out that it’s not just the added ingredients, but they way they’re cooked. I’ve known this for a while, processes like drying the dish up with spices when tomatoes are added or holding the garlic until after things have sautéed.
Here’s my process:
- Cast iron pot
- Warm oil to medium, then crank the heat down by 1/3
- 2-3 min: onion
- 2-5 min: 3 celery + 3 carrot
- 2-3 min: 1 red +1 green pepper
Then add the following in succession
- 1 slab of Better Than Bullion
- 2 tins of tomatoes, chopped
- 2:1 Chili powder:oregano + cumin
- Handful of frozen corn
- 1 slab of honey
Let that stew for a few minutes then
- 1 tin of black beans, rinsed
- 1 tin of kidney beans, rinsed
- *bonus if you soak dried beans, but who has time for that!?
Bring to low boil, then simmer. The longer the better! I’ll turn the pot off if we leave the house, then crank it back on before we eat.
Guaranteed amazing. Be sure to bake some fresh bread, too, or have some kind of porous carb to soak up the goods.
Justification for ingredients: Onion, celery and carrot are simply amazing with any soup. Corn adds a nice yellow color and contrast to the deep reds, plus it’s sweet enough to balance the acidic tomatoes. Honey serves this purpose as well. In addition, peeled carrot will make things sweeter. Sometimes I’ll purée one tin of tomatoes but always chop them, nobody likes massive chunks of canned tomatoes.