In reply to a request made on the Boston board ("Best Bowl of Chili"), here's my favorite recipe.
Ingredients (all quantities approximate, improvise to suit your taste):
4 - 5 lbs beef (nothing fancy, any cheap tough cut is good)
¼ cup peanut oil
3 good sized onions
4 cloves garlic
1 small (7 oz) can chiles chipotles in adobo sauce
3 fresh or 1/2 cup pickled sliced jalapeños
¼ cup chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cayenne (red) pepper
2 or 3 cans dark red kidney beans (optional)
Trim the fat off the beef and cut it into ½” cubes (this is the only hard part - if you don’t have a VERY sharp knife it can take forever). It’s easier if you put the meat in the freezer for a half hour or so before cutting it.
Heat the peanut oil in a large, heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and stir frequently until it’s all browned.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the onions and mince the garlic. When the beef is brown, add the onions and garlic, turn the heat down to medium, and cook a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Chop the chipotles and jalapeños and stir them in along with all the adobo sauce.
Add the chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper, and stir everything together.
Reduce heat ‘til it’s just high enough to keep things simmering. Cover the pot and cook until the beef is fork tender (about 2 hours). Peek under the lid and give things a stir every now and then.
When the beef is done, stir in the beans if desired.
Taste for seasoning. I sometimes add a little more chili powder and cumin at this point, a little more salt if it needs it, and more cayenne and/or chopped jalapeños if it’s not hot enough.
Serve with your choice of toppings: shredded cheese, chopped green or yellow onion, chopped fresh or pickled jalapeños.
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