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any awesome beef chili cheats or tips?

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boomchakabowwow

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here we go again. my devil's eggs contest results (last place!) is not scaring me off.

chili cooking contest! this happens Halloween, at a party.

beef chili.,

i kinda want to move away from ground beef. use a cubed up chuckroast. am i staring at last place again? i'm going to toast the dry chili pods and grind it myself. no mystery expiration dated chili mix here.

any tips?
 

Chips

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Trust me, this is all you'll ever need.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761147616/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1


My uncle lent that book to me back in 2004 or so. I soaked up every tidbit from it I could. and made some devine chili batches with it's help. It was out of print back then, so quite a precious resource to him. I was thrilled to find it on Amazon, and in some cases only $2 for the book! Defintely start there and get comfortable working with fresh and dried chiles. You won't regret it.
 

RonB

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If you have a smoker, or if you know someone who does, smoking the chuck roast will take your chili to another level.
 

Stx00lax

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Things to use..
Chuck, whole spices toasted and ground (cumin, coriander, etc..) good beef stock, a variety of whole dried chilies toasted, soaked and pureed (ancho, guajillo, arbol etc..)
Don’t use.. tomatoes, ground meat, Chile powder
Beans are entirely optional.
Although a purist would never use them,
I prefer them. Those are pretty basic ground rules. Choosing your chili varieties and adding fun ingredients such as coffee, Mexican chocolate, masa etc. are fun ways to make it your own.
 

gman

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i love chili and make several variations, not believing there is any one correct way.

that said, i absolutely agree that chili power is not a thing that should exist or be used. you will want to vary the proportions of paprika, smoked chili, garlic, onion, cumin and coriander to balance whatever else you put in there, and not depend on a premixed ratio (same logic as buying unsalted butter, then salting to taste). but if in doubt, use way more cumin that you think you should. then put some more. :)

i don't really like coffee in my chili, but i do like to use bitter chocolate, and if your chosen chilies are particularly hot, they can be tamed with a shot of agave syrup.

browning your cubes of beef before adding them to the pot will retain moisture and add flavor. deglaze the pan with onions and add those too. also, don't be afraid to use a leaner cut, like sirloin, which will have a beefier flavor.

if you are using beans or vegetables, don't add them all at once. add them in order of hardest to easiest to break down, so you don't end up with mush. you'd also be surprised what sorts of creative vegetables you can hide in there if so inclined. broccoli will end up with a mouth feel a lot like ground beef, and potatoes if added early enough will break down enough to act as a thickener.

last, but not least, and definitely do not tell any of your closed minded friends this, sneak in a big dash of msg when no one is looking!
 
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McMan

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use a cubed up chuckroast. i'm going to toast the dry chili pods and grind it myself.
any tips?
Yup. Chuck + toast/grind your own spices. It really can be that simple. I like beans and use small red beans instead of kidneys,

The tough part is getting your chile-mix profiles to where you want them.
If you live near a Mexican market, you should be fine for a variety of dried chiles. If not, there are a boatload of resources online.
I'll use some combination of these depending on what I'm feeling like for the batch and what's on hand. Sometimes I go for the dark, earthy, raisin/tobacco/chocolate/tobacco flavors (mostly Ancho, Pasilla, Mulato, Morita). Sometimes I like it lighter, brighter, and redder (mostly Pulla, Guajillo, Morita, and Arbol)

--Ancho is the standard chile powder chile--Fruity and earthy--raisin, leather, tobacco.
--Pasilla--chocolate, raisin, plum, less earthy than Ancho
--Mulato--chocolate, coffee, licorice
--Guajillo--a little fruity, dry, bright.
--Pulla--great, but hit or miss to find in stores. Hotter than Guajillo and fruitier, a little licorice.
--Morita--type of chipotle, very smokey
--Arbol--hot, dry, use to add heat

One thing with toasting the chiles--a little goes a long way (think 5-10 secs per side). Over-toasting brings out bitterness and gets rid of fruitiness. Make sure to let the chiles fully cool before grinding.

Or... there's another technique that doesn't depend on powder and borrows some techniques from central Mexican cooking.
Toast the peppers then soak in a little water to rehydrate (plate on top to keep the peppers submerged). Don't oversoak, 10-20 mins should do it depending on the chile. Then puree the chiles in a blender with some cumin, salt, black pepper. You've got a chile paste. Brown the chuck, remove and drain the fat, then toast the spice paste (add a small bit of tomato paste if you want or don't), de-glaze with stock, meat back in... Boom done! Sweat down onions and garlic before toasting the spice past if you want. Or add garlic and onion to the paste. Lots of options...
 
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boomchakabowwow

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thanks you all.

i have frozen paste. i made it a few months ago. you all gave me lots to think about. the recent CA blackouts put me behind the 8-ball. not much time for a dry run.

one time a buddy won a chili contest. just between friends. nothing formal. he made a great chili. tasting it, it was missing something. his grand dad walked in and tasted it. he took a can of off the shelf chili and dumped it in. give it a quick stir and shuffled away. we laughed. it was all for fun anyways.

my buddy won!! it was pretty funny.
 

DevinT

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I use chicken stock instead of beef stock. It tames the beef some. Use tortilla chips to thicken the gravy. Use lean beef.

A small amount of oregano is nice. Don’t be afraid of using tomato paste and maybe a little ketchup to sweeten things.

Use cooked and rinsed black beans, they look and taste good with a red chili. Add medium diced onion and green bell pepper, don’t over cook to retain color. Keep the gravy smooth, don’t use granulated spices. Don’t make it too hot unless you know the crowd likes it that way.

Make it a familiar taste for these types of local contests. If the party goers judge by popular vote, make enough chili so you can get more votes.

Cut beef into uniform ~3/8 inch pieces.

Enough for now.

Hoss
 

rstl87

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Agreed with many of the above points. I buy whole dried chilies and then toast them before blending them into a paste to control the different types of heat and smokiness.

My last few have been made using boneless short ribs (big pack from Costco) and it has a great texture that is also more forgiving than leaner cuts of meat in terms of over/undercooking.

In terms of cheats, I often use a pressure cooker... particularly with the short rib it does a great job. 30-35 mins and you’ve gone some fall of the bone(less) meat.
 

boomchakabowwow

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Well. To close the loop. The California statewide power outage and wildfires cancelled pretty much everything.

No party, no chili cook off. :(
 

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