Sunday, January 14, 2007

All Roads lead to Chili.

It is Sunday morning. Currently in Seattle, it is 19 degrees. The forecast calls for freezing fog. Just exactly what is freezing fog anyway? With a cold snap still in the area, the roads and houses are dusted with snow, not something normally seen in this area, but we have welcomed some strange weather with the start of winter this year. I believe this is the result of El Nino and Global Warming, in coexistence. Today also marks the start to my weekend, which usually means that while away from my work kitchen, I enter my own kitchen and strangely enough, I cook and I bake.

Lately, I have been thinking of my crock pot.

And, I was reminded of how lovely a crock pot meal can be. While visiting the Bay Area recently, I was lucky enough to arrive on the day my dad was ‘slow cooking’ a pot roast. Of course, his famous ribs are hard to beat, but this meal definitely rivaled.

Back when C&T hosted their annual Chili Cook Off, I remember entering a ‘6 alarm chili,’ which was accented by chipotle, coffee and chocolate. It was good, but it was definitely freaking HOT and NOT like Abby’s crowd pleaser chili that took home the ‘First Prize’ Jalapeno Apron. I believe that I took third that year. The couple votes caste in my direction, I believe, were those of my loving husband and another friend, who liked his chili like he liked his men…

Damn Hot.

SO, today, I thought that I would revisit Chili. I loved the complexity that adding coffee and chocolate gave to my third place chili, but I am thinking, if I just toned down the spice, maybe I too, can take home that ‘First Prize’ Jalapeno Apron someday.

3 Alarm Hoo-Hah Chili

4 oz sliced Maple bacon
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder ( I ended up getting something called ‘pork shoulder butt’…not quite sure what that means..), cubed
1 T olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 chipotle chili, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder (not pure, but the kind mixed with other spices)
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
Pinch of Cayenne powder
7 oz beef broth
½ c brewed coffee
½ c Guinness stout
14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes with puree
15 oz kidney beans, canned
15 oz cannellini beans, canned
¼ cup dark chocolate. (Valrhona 70%)
Salt, to taste

Cook bacon, drain and set aside. Reserve a Tablespoon from fat in pan. Add 1 T olive oil and brown the pork. Transfer to crock pot when finished. Deglaze pan with hot coffee and scrape mixture into crock pot too. Saute onion until softened, then add garlic and spices and cook 1 minute. Add this to the crock pot. At this point, add the stock, coffee, Guinness and tomatoes to the crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Then, add the chocolate and beans, stir, and cook for 1 hour more.
Top with Sour Cream and other fixins’….

Should make around 6 servings…

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Bonny said...

That sounds so good. I will have to try it.

amy said...

how did it turn out???

Sara said...

good! it gets better dinner for the week..