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Phillie Chilli

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Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1194
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Phillie Chilli Reply with quote

originally I was going to call this PA Chili, but having grown up in the area, Phillie Chillie seemed a neater name . . .

(talking through my hat here) chili one presumes gets its name from the primary seasoning. which pretty much puts it in the north America southwest/southcentral region. chili in the northeast is frequently made with ground beef - which in really bad kitchens comes out to be sloppy joe with a couple beans and no bun.
(and all the folk who are getting all upset to tell me it ain't authentic chili - heh, get yer own message. just rename it to beef&bean goulash.)

after watching some tv chili cook-offs, I started playing around with "real" chili and present the results here for your considerations.

first, I am _not_ a chili-head "burn-off yo' lipz and make yer' spurs glow" fan - so my recipe is mild. heat it up to your own tastes.

second, there's two ways for fixin' the meat. my wife considers ground beef chili comfort food, so after working the cubed southwest versions, I created a second version, adapted to a shredded meat concept vs ground meat concept.

third, we're not talking fast food here.

meat prep:
I figure about 8 ounces raw / untrimmed beef + one can of dark red kidney beans per person; some leftovers required.

cubed version: min three hour tour; six is more better
chuck roast / chuck steak; trim out any connective tissue; leave some fat; cube it down to a variable mix of half inch to 3/4 inch chunks.
splash of olive oil in a hot pan (I use a 6 qt casserole); brown the meat; get about a 50% "char" on the chunks
remove from pot; reserve all juices. Seasonings I limit to salt and fresh ground pepper at this point.
GOTO Veggie Bit

shredded version: two day prep
day one:
heavy pot, get hot, splash of oil, heavy sear a chuck roast / pot roast; salt/pepper seasoning.
following sear, deglaze with beer, braise in beer+water about three hours; chill
day two:
reheat roast; reheat thoroughly; 2-3 hours at a low simmer.
remove roast; reserve liquid
pick apart & shred the meat, discarding anything bits that do not look delicious.
chop the shredded bits of meat into quarter to half inch pieces.
heat up the heavy pan with a generous amount of oil - drop in the shredded meat to get brown crusties on about 50%
remove meat; reserve everything
GOTO Veggie Bit

Veggie Bit:
(proportioned for one pound of beef)
1 cup sliced&diced celery stalks with some green - three stalks of a normal head
one large yellow onion
three regular/normal size garlic cloves; smashed & lightly diced
big bunch scallions - about a dozen individual - chopped, including all portions of the "solid stem" green
fresh pepper - green / red / banana / hots - your choice - about one cup of diced sweet pepper combo; hot stuff to your own tolerance
note this method "re-uses" the heavy pan that has the browned beef bits in it plus any reserved oil
saute veggies, oil as need, start with celery
season with salt; saute until soft; wiping around pot/pan to dissolve the brown bits
add onions, pepper
season with
quarter to half tsp sweet paprika
half to one tsp chili powder
3 bay leaves
cayenne pepper to yer' hearts delight - I use 1/8 tsp
mix and saute until soft - deglazing pan with resulting liquid as veggies soften
when essentially "done" - add garlic and saute another 3-4 minutes
add meat & mix
if you have liquid from the pot roast simmer, add "too much liquid" and allow to reduce. this is a _huge_ flavor enhancer

add dark red kidney beans - including liquid - stir to mix

add 3-4 cups tomato, stir & cook down / reduce about 30-45 minutes
adjust consistency using liquid from braising or drained tomato
re-taste for seasoning - especially salt - remove bay leaves

this dish holds well - more time = better flavor melding. leftovers I think are better than first run . . .

The Tomato Bit:
I garden, so when I'm drowning in tomato and peppers I put up my own (frozen) stewed tomato+green pepper+onion mix.
if you have a brand of really good tasting "stewed tomatoes" use that
lacking a decent stewed tomato source, use whole tomatoes, open the can, drain, medium dice. seasoning adjustments required
alternative - three pounds of really ripe good store tomatoes - cut up, stew 'em down while working on the pot roast.
pasta sauces: don't go there.
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