Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Supper: Winter Warm Up Chili

We are in the midst of a winter wonderland and I absolutely love it! My yard is completely snow covered; the geese continue to wade in the brook; and Puppy (our youngest hound) gets up every morning, goes straight to her window seat and looks out the window patiently waiting until we let her out to frolic in the snow. The hubs and I finally got a rug for our living room this morning and then we spent the rest of the day playing in the snow with the hounds. There is something about running around in the snow while playing with my dogs that makes me giggle and completely forget about any other craziness going on in my life.

After a fun filled day of playing in the snow I decided to make a big pot of chili to warm up the hubs and I. I've made chili lots of times but have yet to find THE recipe. This time around, I thought I'd try winging it and it was by far the best chili I've ever made! It was a little smoky, a little spicy, a little sweet, and the perfect thing to warm us up after a day in the snow.

Winter Warm Up Chili

4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions (1 sweet, 1 yellow), chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 4 oz jar diced green chiles
3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground pork
3/4 lb ground veal
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 15 oz can chili beans
1 tbsp of your favorite bbq rub (I used the hubs secret blend that we like to call Nuts & Bolts)

sharp cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook bacon until just starting to crisp. Remove from pot and drain on paper towel. Add onion and cook until softened and golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and green chiles. Cook for 1 minute. Add beef, pork, and veal and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and brown sugar and stir until well blended. Stir in tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, chili beans, and add cooked bacon back to pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour until liquid reduces a bit and chili is thick and chunky. Add bbq rub and continue simmering, covered, at least 1 more hour. Serve hot with crusty bread and top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Modern Housewife Tips:
1. The blend of meat adds a lot more flavor. I found the blend that I used all packaged together at my local grocery store which is why I used what I did but most importantly, you want to use beef and pork at the very least.
2. The longer you simmer, the better! I initially was only going to simmer 1 hour but after an hour, we decided to let it go longer to let the flavor really penetrate the meat. You want to try to simmer at least 2 hours.
3. Next time I will try rubbing the meat with the bbq rub and letting it marinate for about an hour before cooking to give it even more flavor.

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