This is a post about chili (part 1)

I like chili. Shit, I LOVE chili. Meaty, spicy, rich and hot and it cooks in one pot. I’m a fan of soups and stews generally, and chili maybe most of all. So for two of the last three years, we’ve driven to the regional chili cookoff and paid our $5 for all the samples we can eat. Next year or the year after, I might enter the damn thing myself.

There’s rules though. No beans, no pasta. Has to be cooked on-site, with the exception of bottled/canned sauces and the like. You have to chop your veggies and cook your meat with a portable grill or propane stove.Your chili cooks a minimum of 3 hours, judging no later than 4 hours of cooking. So I’ve got to figure out a recipe that’s good enough to be judged, and also exact enough that I can do it with the things I an carry down to the competition site and keep fresh on the drive. I’m not good at following recipes, I like to follow where my taste buds lead.

That’s going to make it a waste of time for me to enter a contest.

So I’m working towards a recipe. So far I know I prefer dried peppers to fresh, and ground beef to chopped steak. I really like using gochujang chili paste over any sort of chili powder. Lots of onion and garlic, a bottle of porter and a splash of bourbon. A nice medium-dark masa roux. So far so good. Once I get the flavors right, I’ll get the timing down. And then I’ll let you know.

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