Had a few people ask so here goes, note that my vegetarian friend said he can substitute some kind of vegetarian protein or tofu for the meat. I’ve made this recipe with 100% beef, 100% deer, or a mix of the two and to be frank the meat or protein has never affected the overall outcome of the chili. Also note that my list of ingredients isn’t exact, I usually eyeball it and adjust as I need to, accordingly the ingredients are an approximation.
Start by browning 1 – 2 pounds of meat in a tablespoon of your favourite oil. Use a deep and wide pot as you will keep adding chili ingredients as you cook.
From this point onwards you will be simmering the chili at 2 or 3 on your stove, any hotter and you risk burning the bottom. Not a deal breaker but keep it in mind.
Add one diced onion, I cheat and use the food processor.
Add 3 – 5 cans of beans, I usually drain and rinse these in a colander first, helps prevent the toots.
Add 3 – 5 cans of crushed tomatoes (or one big one from Costco), I’ve also used Shareen’s garden tomatoes (run through the food processor first) with decent results.
Stir and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes then start adding your spices and peppers. Remember you can add more but it’s harder to take it out or fix your chili if you dump too much of one spice or another.
2 – 5 table spoons of chili powder, add then stir then simmer then taste and repeat to taste.
1 – 2 table spoons of cumin powder, as before stir, simmer, taste, and repeat.
Salt is strictly a personal choice and I found that I may want to use more or less depending on the crushed tomatoes. The cans tend to be saltier so I use less whereas I’ll add a bit more if I use fresh tomatoes.
Adding your peppers is a bit tricky, you can use either Jalapeños or Habaneros but I found that Habaneros produce a better latent heat than Jalapeños (4 – 6 of them). I use 1 or 2 Habaneros but you can bump it to three if you’re feeling spicy. Cut your peppers coarse or chunky and keeping the seeds then put them in the blender with 1/2 can of beer. Blend your beer and peppers until you can’t see any sizeable chunks. Empty the beery pepper mixture into your chili and use the second half of your beer to rinse the blender into your chili.
Simmer the mixture on low heat for at least an hour, keep a lid on it or some kind of mesh as it will “spit” and get dirty. If using a lid leave a small gap for steam to escape.
At this point I add 1/2 to a full square of semi sweet bakers chocolate. The chocolate improves the texture of the chili and also tends to push the heat of the peppers to the tail end so that the heat builds up nicely rather than kicking you in the teeth up front. Make sure to stir the chocolate in thoroughly.
Simmer for at least another hour at which point I give it a little taste and adjust my chili powder or cumin or salt to taste.
At this point you can probably start eating your chili but I found that the longer you simmer it the better it gets. Some of my best ones I would start around lunch but not eat until supper and they sat on the stove simmering all day. Make sure to keep stirring it every half hour, you may end up with some burnt mass at the bottom of your pot, unless you really cranked the heat it won’t affect the rest of the chili.
The chili also freezes really well, and is easy to warm up in the microwave.