Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The great hamburger derailment!

See that big six-quart pot of goo to the left? That's my hamburger I was going to throw on the grill for dinner last night. I know, it doesn't really look like a hamburger, does it? Somewhere between initial craving and final execution it went way off the tracks. Not that it was such a bad thing, because this was an ass-kickingly good pot of chili. What started out as a morning craving for flame cooked ground beef turned into a two hour after work session of kitchen fun thanks to a recipe I found on epicurious. Thank god my culinary A.D.D. kicked in at work and I found this, because this turned into one of the best bowls of chili I've ever had. Combined with some of Trader Joe's easy and delicious corn bread (one of my favorite TJ things, by the way. try it, you'll see), this was working it on a cool, gray PDX evening. In fact, I'd go so far as to say this was one of the best freaking hamburgers I've ever had!
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Pork, Beef, and Black Bean Chili
adpated from Bon Appétit

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 pound chuck steak, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz. dark beer
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 6-ounce cans tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
3 cups diced onions
3 cups diced red bell peppers

3 cups canned black beans, drained, rinsed (from three 15-ounce cans)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 3/4 cups (about) beef broth
Grated cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground pork and ground beef and sauté until brown, about 3 minutes. Add cubed beef and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Add beer and water; bring to boil. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and sugar and simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, onions, and peppers and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

The pot bubbling away after adding spices...smells SOOO good!

Add black beans and cilantro to chili.
Add beef broth 3/4 cup at a time, until thinned to desired consistency. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.) Bring chili to simmer. Ladle hot chili into bowls; top with grated cheddar cheese and serve.

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