01 Jun 2014
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Chili recipes

Winners of the 21st annual Texas Club Chili Cook-Off share their secrets

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Traditional Texas Recipe [winner]
by Matt Ashbaugh (MBA 2014)

Ingredients
  • Sweet/fresh chilies: 3 whole New Mexico chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • Hot chilies: 3 Arbol chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • Rich/fruity chilies: 2 Ancho and 2 Pasilla chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 quarts low sodium canned or homemade chicken broth
  • 4 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of excess gristle and fat, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 whole, fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced and stem removed
  • 2 whole, fresh serrano peppers, sliced and stem removed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons masa harina
Steps
  1. Combine all dried chilies (New Mexico, Arbol, Ancho, Pasilla) in a medium saucepan and add half of chicken broth. Simmer over medium-high heat until chilies are completely tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender or hand blender cup and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over high heat until smoking. Season half of meat with salt and pepper and cook without moving until well-browned on bottom side, about 6 minutes. Transfer meat to a large bowl and combine with remaining un-cooked half of meat and set aside. Return Dutch oven to heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently until translucent and softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and oregano, and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add all meat back to pan along with chili puree and remaining quart chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, cover, leaving lid just barely ajar and cook, stirring occasionally until meat is completely tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Alternatively, stew can be cooked in a 200° to 250°F oven with the lid of the Dutch oven slightly ajar.
  4. Season liquid to taste with salt and pepper and whisk in masa harina in a slow steady stream until desired thickness is reached. Add fresh jalapeno and serrano peppers to Dutch Oven. Simmer for another 15 minutes over low heat. For best results, allow chili to cool overnight and reheat the next day to serve.
  5. Serve, garnished with cilantro, chopped onions, scallions, grated cheese, pickled jalapenos, avocado, and warm tortillas or Fritos as desired.

Roasted Habanero Lamb Chili [runner-up]
by David Askaryan's (HBS 2015)

Chop up a bunch of shallots (you can't have too many here, the more the merrier) and sauté in a pot with a little olive oil. Once the shallots start sweating nicely, add sea salt, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. Once the shallots start caramelizing, throw in the ground lamb—I usually do about 3 lbs. Good quality lamb is pretty essential here. I try to get Icelandic lamb—since their summers have 20 hours of daylight, the sheep are out grazing the grass for a longer period of time before they're butchered. They're also solely grass-fed, no grain feed at all. All this makes for a tastier and richer lamb (though not necessarily gamier). Add coriander powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin powder, a little brown sugar, a touch of vanilla extract and a little more sea salt. Sauté the ground lamb with the onions until it's nearly all the way cooked (so it absorbs all the flavors, but still cooks with the rest of the chili later on). Take some habanero peppers and roast them in the oven at 500 degrees - for about 15 minutes - until they have black blisters. Take about half the seeds out of the habaneros and mush them up. Add them to the pot along with some canned chili beans or red beans (I'm too lazy to cook them myself. Also, unflavored beans are preferable) and also a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Add water to make the consistency of the chili pretty runny. Cover and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, remove the lid and take it down to medium heat, so it just remains bubbly with the cover off. Chop up some fresh basil and throw it in along with a bag of frozen sweet corn (tastes better than canned corn). Let the chili bubble without a lid for about an hour and until it reduces to a thicker consistency. Add the end, add more salt if needed and also throw in some more brown sugar at the very end (the brown sugar from earlier will already have been broken down from the heat) to add a nice, sweet front-end to the chili.

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