Well there's always room for improvement, but this is pretty damn good anyway. It uses many more ingredients than most chillis but complex cooking leads to complex flavours. I think purists might hate this, but whilst I love coarse, simple chilli, I was going for something a bit different here. I'm posting because I'm proud of it and because maybe others will find it amusing or maybe it will encourage them to make even better chilli.
I love food and love cooking so me and my flatmate put aside an evening and set about creating the best chilli we could just for the hell of it. Based on previous attempts we realised the key to that well-rounded, dense flavour is layering. Its all about the layering of similar, complementary flavours so that every taste has multiple dimensions. This was also heavily inspired by Heston Blumenthal's chilli con carne. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lYMB8jcyNck
I haven't given exact quantities because I can't remember them all exactly, it should be done on feel, and because its primarily the variety and quality of ingredients that's important, rather than the specific amounts. We used a huge pot and made a massive quantity which is the way to do it I think.
The order you chop will mostly dictate the order you cook. Don't add everything at once, layer it. Because we gradually chucked things in, a precise write-up would be really tedious so I've grouped things, into a rough order. Most ingredients were bought from a fantastic Indian grocers near my house.
extra virgin olive oil
all finely chopped then very gently fried in the chilli oil and some butter
Once soft (ten-15 minutes?) time to fry the onions and garlic.
2-3 red onions (some caramelized in balsamic vinegar separately)
2-3 yellow/white onions
about a dozen shallots (some caramelized in balsamic vinegar separately)
5 cloves of garlic
Caramelise some of the red onions and shallots in balsamic vinegar in another pan first.
About the same time add the spice mix
The spice mix
Cumin seeds (lots)
Coriander seeds (not many)
Caraway seeds (similar spice to cumin, quite a few)
A crushed dried red chilli
toasted and ground fine.
Chilli peppers Oh yeah!
Used a few of each basically. Less of the really hot ones, more of the milder ones.
3 red peppers that were roasted with olive oil until blackened, then had the skins removed. Add these roasted peppers into the mix later.
Tomatoes I used tinned chopped tomatoes - suppose I could have made it all from fresh.
Pour tomatoes into tupperware and add chopped up tomato vines, thyme, oregano, tarragon and parsley and soak overnight. Much of the smell and flavour we associate with tomatoes is stuck in the vine, this technique imparts more of it to the tomato liquid. I'd grown my own tomatoes over the summer so I was able to hack off some off the plant and put that in. remove the vine before cooking.
5-6 fresh tomatoes chopped.
4 bay leaves
A cinnamon stick
1 litre stock with a couple teaspoons yeast extract.
Add a good glug, then set on fire before adding the tomatoes
Add more later in the cooking process and light it too.
Simmer down for about 2 hours.
I'm a student so can't really afford to buy choice cuts of beef from the butchers so I just used supermarket bought mince. I imagine it would have been even better if I used rib meat.
Fry separately in the chilli oil plus more cumin, then some more JD
Combine meat, kidney beans, and tomato sauce.
3 star anise
(crush then wrap in muslin, add it and leave in until its given the dish the right amount of dark flavour. Too much and it will overpower. 10 mins?
Stir through finishing butter of
tsp cumin powder
tsp chilli powder
tsp Worcester sauce
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper throughout the cooking.
Eat and think "**** me, I've been cooking for three hours, good job it tastes so damn good." Fun times. Very hot, but extremely rich too. The taste just keeps coming and develops in the mouth. Probably the best thing I've ever made.
Last edited by J.C.; 10-24-2008 at 11:23 AM.
sounds banging. when i get home fro school im getting my mom to make this
I will get the wife to make that