Score! My chili was a hit tonight. They want me to make it again, so I am writing it up before I forget how I did it. My goal was to make a chili with lots of texture, bright colors and depth of flavor. Actually, that's not true. We needed something for dinner and I was too lazy to go to the store. Tom and David were watching college football together, so while they relaxed, I decided to concoct something.
What I had to work with were a few slices of leftover BBQ brisket and drippings, a little bit of leftover black beans, and leftover roasted carrots.
Here's what I did. Chopped an onion into half moons, sauted them in a little olive oil, but on very low, so they didn't become too limp.
Found a yellow pepper and some celery in the fridge. Chopped them into bite sizes, and added to the onions. Seasoned with salt.
I liked the color combo at this point. But didn't know what to do with the seasonings yet.
So, to kill time while I thought about what to do, I went to the BBQ brisket I had cooked for Tom's birthday last week.
I removed the fat, then chopped it up in to nice, uniform, bite-size pieces. Brisket can be stringy. This was a good move. In the chili, the brisket bits were packed with flavor and easy to eat.
From the leftover drippings in my gravy separator, I discarded the fat. It tasted good, but mostly like the Dinosaur BBQ sauce I had used. Very sweet. So, I knew I needed to compensate. Then I tasted the leftover beans. Also, sweet, but I had forgotten I had made them very spicy. So, no need to add heat. The carrots, which I had roasted, were also sweet. Lots of sweet things.
Decided I'd better bump up the garlic. About 2 T. Note that the veggies are not over cooked. I kept the heat on med-low.
Time to commit. I decided to go Texan (Tex-Mex) with my seasonings. 1 heaping T. of cumin. 2 T. ground ancho chili pepper. A couple of shakes of Mexican oregano. Added the beef, the roasted carrots, black beans, and combined.
For a proper chili, tomatoes are added. This is what I had on hand.
Added the tomatoes to the pot, along with some Worcestershire sauce (about 2 T.) and a big glug of red wine (maybe a 1/2 cup).
Brought it to a boil, then added a package of frozen shoepeg corn.
Covered and turned it down to a simmer. Then, let the flavors mingle for about 1/2 hour. Turned it off and then re-heated when the football games were over. I added some chopped cilantro, because I had some, but not necessary.
The brisket and black beans are key ingredients to make this chili a success. They are great recipes on their own. I will post them, too, when I get a chance.