Secret ingredient to amazing chili
Can you guess?
We've had quite a few rainy and blustery days lately. This time of year, folks lean towards soups and stews, something warming.
There's nothing like a pot of chili simmering away all day. But what's the best way to get that rich, deep flavor of an excellent chili? I'll tell you.
further down. I know, I am so mean. But hear me out and check out this recipe and all will be revealed.
What you need:
- 29 oz can of tomato sauce
- 28 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 pound center cut bacon, sliced into strips or chopped into small pieces
- 1 lb. spicy sausage, cut up or removed and crumbled from casing. (Spicy Italian sausage will work or try Chorizo)
- 1-2 lbs ground beef
- 30 oz of beans- usually kidney but you could mix black, cannellini, and pinto if you prefer
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika (Can use regular paprika if smoked is too spicy)
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp. parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 square of unsweetened bakers chocolate (yep, you read that right)
What to do:
- Grab a large pot or dutch oven. I have used my lobster pot when doubling or tripling this recipe.
- Prep all your veggies and your bacon.
- In the large pot, heat the pan over medium heat. Add a couple teaspoons of oil when hot.
- Add onion and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt.
- Cook slowly for 5-8 minutes, until nice and brown. Add green pepper and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes more.
- Add all other ingredients EXCEPT the meat: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, barbecue sauce, spices, molasses, and chocolate. Stir.
- In a separate skillet or pan, cook the bacon over medium heat, rendering the fat slowly. Drain. Add to pot.
- Cook the sausage. Drain and add to the pot.
- Cook the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain and add to the pot.
- Stir and cook over low heat for 2-3 hours. You can use a slow cooker, or two, if you have it and the volume will fit!
- Top with your favorite chili toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onion, sliced scallions, olives, or hot sauce!
So why the chocolate? It lends a deep, rich flavor to the chili and cuts back on some of the sweetness. Just be sure to get unsweetened chocolate from the baking supply aisle. Try experimenting by adding half a square more.
Looking to lighten this up? Try turkey bacon; ground lean turkey, chicken, or 93% lean ground beef; and turkey sausage. Substitute the sugary BBQ sauce with some tomato sauce, apple sauce, liquid smoke, a heavy splash of apple cider vinegar, a squirt of mustard, and a few shakes of hot sauce.Don't have unsweetened chocolate? Try substituting a few Tbsp of espresso powder, instant coffee, or about 1/2 cup of leftover coffee.
What's your favorite chili ingredient?