”Igor? Igor! IGOR!”
“Bring forth the beef. Bring forth the unsmoked bacon. Bring forth the onions, the spices, the fresh chillies and the holy smoked new mexico reds. Bring froth the salt and the cumin seed, the paprika and the uncouth star anise. Make ready the Grand Pot, heat the Great Iron Skillet, and put the beer in the fridge, for Tonight! TONIGHT, IGOR!”
“TONIGHT WE MAKE CHILLI!”
Every so often, you just have to fire up the pot and make a batch of chilli. There’s no other way around it.
The ingredients. Back row, left to right: spice grind (more on that in a second), chopped fresh chillis, rehydrated dried new mexico red chillis, chopped onions, chopped sirloin tossed in olive oil and sea salt. Front row, left to right: smashed and chopped garlic, diced choritzo, diced garlic, trimmed and cubed unsmoked back bacon, rib steak mince.
More ingredients. Back row, left to right: Worcestershire sauce, ordinary beer, Nam Pla. Front Row, left to right: tomato puree, dried thyme, paprika, jalapeno chilli flakes, chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, star anise.
And the spices. Cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, sea salt, chilli powder, all ground in the mortar.
And the Great Chilli Pot, also known as a pressure cooker. This one’s a wee bit old, inherited from family, but modern ones are even better. Since it’s so heavy, we can sear in this as well as braise.
Step one: trim the sirloin, cube it, toss in salt and olive oil, then brown in batches in the Great Chilli Pot on very high heat, with one teaspoon of adobo sauce added to each batch as it finishes up. Then remove to a mixing bowl.
Step two: trim, cube and brown the bacon along with the diced choritzo, then remove to the mixing bowl with the beef.
Step three: brown the mince, then remove to the mixing bowl. Make sure to brown the mince properly, stirring thoroughly and energetically to keep it moving and break it up until it is almost dry and crumbly.
Step four: sweat the onions down with one whole star anise, remove to bowl (discarding the star anise), then fry the spices with the chopped fresh chillis and the chopped rehydrated dried chillis and the tomato puree and the garlic and the ginger.
Step five: deglaze the pot with beer, then add the liquid ingredients (Nam Pla and Worcestershire) and get that boiling. Then add the dry black beans (no presoak needed) and dried thyme, and then all the previously cooked ingredients. Bring back up to the boil, clamp on the lid of the pressure cooker, build up to pressure then back off to a simmer and leave it there for an hour.
Step nine: put ladle of chilli in bowl, add a dollop of sour cream because you’re caucasian, then using spoon, eat the delicious chilli 🙂