The Recipes

Football is Back Chili

Okay, I know chili purists spend lifetimes refining their recipes and finding their own perfect blend, but with so many fun variations, I make different chili every single time.  This one turned out to be pretty dang tasty, confirmed by some of my favorite leftovers tasters, Katie and Dave.

Football is Back Chili

Ingredients:

- 1 c. beef stock
- 1 dried ancho pepper, stemmed
- 1 dried cascabel pepper, stemmed and seeded
- 1 oz. baking chocolate
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground veal
- 1/4 c. chili powder
- 2 T. cumin
- 1 1/2 T. Mexican Oregano
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 c. bloody mary mix
- salt
- pepper
- vegetable oil

In a small skillet, place the garlic cloves, cinnamon and dried peppers.  Cover with the stock and simmer for 10-12 minutes to reconstitute the peppers.  The stock will also get infused.  Remove the cinammon stick and add the chocolate, allowing it to softly melt.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.  When the chocolate is melted, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat the meat, allowing it to brown.  Lighly season with salt.  Add the vegetables and allow them to soften for 5-6 minutes, then add the paste from the blender.  Stir to combine, then add the chili powder, cumin and oregano.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stock.  Simmer for at least an hour; I actually let mine cook over very low heat for about four hours.  As you periodically stir the chili, if it needs a little bit more liquid, add the bloody mary mix.

Garnish however you like; I went for some grated white cheddar cheese and scallions.