OK i know, i'm a week late. the superbowl was last week. the Pittsburgh Steelers won which made my nephew Yechaskel very happy indeed. His Aunt Mel was very happy too, and she didn't even see it -- she even missed the halftime show with The Boss. Why was i so happy? Because the chili i made was probably THE BEST chili i've ever ever made. Eating gave me that eyes glazed over feeling of pure bliss and i spent the next 3 days eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. so so so good.
i'm still trying to figure out what made it so good here are my theories:
- i used scotch bonnets instead of jalapenos. they're everywhere on stroud green road at the moment and who can pass by a bag of these beauties for a mere £1? these are my favourite fresh chilies -- it's that heady sweet/smoky flavour that gets me going and it was exactly this effect that they had on the chilli. not mouth searingly hot, but a delicious sweet heat that slowly crept up on you and lingered after the last bite.
- i made the pot of chilli the night before. we all know that chillies and stews always taste better the next day. and on the saturday night that i made it, the house was redolent of chilli, simmering ever so slowly on the stove for hours..
- instead of chili powder i used ancho chile puree. this was called for in the recipe i was referring to, and yes it made a big difference. again it was less harsh and biting, more warm and smooth in flavour with heat intact.
- i ignored the recipe and after browning the meat made a sofrito of the chopped onion, garlic and fresh chilies.
Here is the recipe i referred to. I kept to the quantities specified, and topped up with some hot beef stock about mid-way through cooking as it was getting quite thick. I also used the option 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of chopped tomatoes.
And to serve: pickled jalapenos, grated mature cheddar cheese, chopped fresh coriander and a generous dollop of greek yoghurt (use sour cream if you have it instead).