Central Time Zone Chili

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Ingredients

Pot that can hold chili

Wooden spoon

1-ish pound ground beef (get whatever’s closest to a pound at the grocery store; this recipe is for about 2 lbs of meat total but it’ll taste pretty much the same up to 2.5lbs) (I usually use 85%, but anything 80+ is fine)

1-ish pound of stew beef, which is chopped-up chunks of meat in one inch-ish cubes. Also called “sirloin tips”.

1 large or 2 small jalapeños (you’re looking for about 4" of jalapeño), seeded and then cut into thin strips the short way (do like this guy but after you get rid of the inside, rinse it in the sink and then cut it up)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd3AO8DBmgU

1/4 cup of chili powder (or 4 tablespoons if that’s what you’re measuring with)

1 tablespoon of oil

1/2 tsp ground red pepper (this is what determines the level of spiciness; I make it with a bit over 1/2 tsp but you could go 1/4 to get closer to Real Chili level or higher if you want more spice)

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 ounce unsweetened baker’s chocolate (from the baking aisle, comes in either big blocks or in chips. The chips are easier, you just use about 7–8 of them)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp MSG (hard to find, optional)

1/2 of a diced white onion (it’ll look like a lot, but it’s not)

Either 1 tsp of garlic powder or, if you want closer to what I did, 2 tsp of garlic chopped up really small

1 cup of beef broth

1 cup of decent, regular-flavored non-light beer

1 cup of water

1 bay leaf if you’re feeling fancy

About 3 inches of tomato paste, which comes in a box like this and has a tube inside that looks like toothpaste https://www.amazon.com/Amore-Tomato-Paste-Double-Concentrated/dp/B0005XN9HI

Optional toppings: 1 can of light red kidney beans, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, oyster/saltine crackers

1/2 tsp flour (DON’T ADD TO SPICE MIX)

Instructions

In a small bowl, mix together all of the dry spices and then add in the baker’s chocolate

In a big pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until you can feel some heat emanating off of it when you put your hand over it.

Put the onions in and stir them around with your wooden spoon until they’ve absorbed the oil. Let them cook about 3 minutes. If they seem like they’re burning, turn the heat down.

Add in all of the meat, still at medium-high heat. Brown all of the sides of your stew beef and all of your ground beef, breaking up the ground beef with a spoon and flipping the uncooked sides down like you would if you were making tacos.

Once the meat is browned, turn the heat to medium and add in your chopped garlic (if you had any) and pepper slices. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the beer, water, and beef broth, and turn the heat up to between medium-high and high. Once it starts bubbling, pour in all of your dry ingredients, squeeze in the 3ish inches of tomato paste, and drop in the bay leaf if you got one. Stir it all around, then turn down the heat to between low and medium-low, to the point where it’s still bubbling but only lightly. If it stops bubbling, take the heat back up to medium-high until it starts again, and then turn it back down.

Let it cook for about 3 hours, every 15 minutes or so checking to make sure it’s still bubbling, stirring it around, and scraping the spices stuck to the side back down into the bowl

Once most of the liquid has evaporated, check the stew beef pieces with a fork. If it goes through easily, try a bite of it and make sure it’s tender. If it’s not, add another 1/4 cup of each liquid and cook it until the liquid evaporates again. If there’s some liquid that’s taking forever to evaporate, thoroughly mix in the flour and cook it for a little longer.

If you want beans, cook those separate, then strain the bean juice out of the pan and add them in to the meat while there’s still just a little liquid left.