Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ruth Reichl´s Chili

Ruth Reichl is the former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. She has a new cookbook/memoir out entitled, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life in reference to the closure of Gourmet. This chili recipe is one of those recipes. Just in time for all you Super Bowl fans! I haven´t found a better chili recipe than this.

1 T. olive oil
3 medium onions, diced
1 red or green bell pepper*, chopped (*my addition, suggested)
6 garlic cloves, smashed 
1 T. FRESH oregano (I used 1t. dried)
1 T. chili powder, divided
1 t. cumin
salt and black pepper (I used 1t. salt)
1 lb. ground bison or beef sirloin
1 (7oz) can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (NOT the whole can)
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes 
1 (12 oz) bottle dark beer (any beer will do. . . )
3/4 c. chicken broth or water
1 (15 oz.) can black beans (I used a 27 oz can - I also prefer the typical kidney beans, so that is also an option), drained and rinsed

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions (and bell pepper). Saute until tender, 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in oregano, 2 t. chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add ground sirloin or bison. Cook 3 minutes** or until no longer red, stirring to crumble. 

2. Puree 3 (3 is VERY SPICY!) chipotle chilies canned in adobo sauce. Stir chilies, tomatoes and remaining chili powder into meat. Add beer and broth. Bring to a simmer; cook uncovered, 2 hours, (1 is plenty) stirring occasionally. 

3. Before serving, stir in beans**. Taste and adjust flavors. 

Ruth´s flavor boosters: 1 oz dark chocolate for depth OR cream sherry to mellow the overall flavor OR fish or soy sauce for salty complexity (don´t use a whole t. of salt if you opt for this), OR balsamic vinegar for brightness and a touch of sweetness OR any combination of those.

**NOTES: All of her times seem under - all those onions (I used 2 large onions and 1 large bell pepper) won´t be tender in 4 minutes nor will the meat brown in 3 minutes. Like other recipes of mine, if you want to taste the garlic, add it in the last 15 or 20 min. of cooking. (I put it through the press.). I added the beans in with the tomatoes - I would especially recommend this if you´re using kidney beans. Since the sauce is so rich, you really need the extra (or larger) can of beans. Finally, I simmered this with the lid partially off for one hour and it was just right. 

Now, go find the Moosewood recipe for CORNBREAD. This chili should not be served without it :)