Chris has been making an excellent pot of chili for several years now, and he’s been honing his technique for maximum flavor. He loves to use fresh ground beef brisket, but also enjoys doing chili with cubed brisket when he has time to cook the beef a few hours until it’s tender. This recipe works with ground beef and only takes a couple hours. The flavor of this chili recipe depends on its simplicity and in the seasoning and browning of the meat using Cow Lick. It can be done quite nicely on the stove top, but Chris prefers to cook it on his Big Green Egg® . . . it gives the chili a nice hint of smoke.
While a good Texas chili with no beans or tomatoes may win a chili contest, this recipe is not really a purist approach to chili, but rather something you can sit down and eat a bowl of. Beans add body (and are really good for you) and tomatoes add a sweetness and tang that cannot be matched.
1.5 lbs. Ground beef
3 tbsp Dizzy Pig Cow Lick
Oil for browning
3 Dried Pasilla Chilies
2 Cloves garlic (or more)
1 Large sweet onion coarsely chopped (or more)
1 Quart Beef Broth
1 tbsp Whole cumin seeds (toasted)
1 tbsp ground New Mexico Chili or other pure ground chilies to your heat preference. Not a blended “chili powder.”
2 cans beans (mix and match kidney, black, pinto, red, white)
2 cans diced tomatoes
Couple squares of dark chocolate
Masa flour to thicken (if needed)
- Shake about half the Cow Lick onto the beef and toss.
- Cut Pasilla Chilies open and remove seeds, and soak them in warm water until softened and rehydrated. About an hour.
- Puree the soaked chilies and garlic in a blender or food processor
- Toast cumin in pan until fragrant.
- Chop onion, gather ingredients and use a mortar/pestle to grind your toasted cumin into powder.
- Brown beef in dutch oven (cast iron is best). Do small batches over high heat so that meat actually browns, and don’t stir until the meat starts to caramelize. Reserve and brown the next batch.
- Remove browned meat from pan. Okay to leave a few bits in the pan.
- Then add onion and a little salt and stir while scraping the brown bits from the pan. This “fond” is packed with flavor, and is part of making a great pot of chili.
- Once onion is cooked soft, about 5 minutes, add your browned beef back tho the pan.
- Pour in your chili/garlic puree, the beef broth, tomatoes, then add the cumin, pure ground chilies and the remainder of the Cow Lick and stir well.
- Bring to a simmer, uncovered, and cook for about a half hour to an hour until all it starts to thicken. Then add beans and stir well.
- Cook another half hour or more until desired thickness is achieved. If needed, thicken with a little masa flour, which also adds a pleasant corn tortilla flavor.
- Add chocolate and stir.
- Add more Cow Lick if needed for a fresh peppery bite.
- Taste and add salt to taste, sugar if it needs a tad of sweetness.
- Your chili is ready to serve! Some like it over pasta, some rice, some just in a bowl. Chris likes it on crushed tortilla chips with cheddar cheese. And it’s always better the following day!