I am attempting to refine a really good slow-cooker chile recipe. I quite like Jamie Oliver's, but I have had trouble getting the right chillis (hurrah for forthcoming trip to the States; I will definitely bring some stuff back). I have cooked Heston Blumenthal's chilli twice, and concluded that it made a wonderful spicy goulash, but was not really chilli, but that some of his ideas were worth stealing. So I'm going to keep a note of what I do this time...
Make some fairly strong coffee. Take 200ml of it, and put three dried chillies in it to soak. Drink the rest of the coffee. You could just make 150ml of coffee, but that's no fun.
Take two 400g cans of tinned tomatoes. Lidl's are the best I've come across. Put them into a saucepan, and reduce them down gently, stirring occasionally. You're aiming to reduce by about a third.
Meanwhile, chop a medium onion to a medium thickness. Fry in a little oil until the onion begins to soften.
Add to the pan:
2 pieces star anise (this is a Heston trick: he says it makes meat taste 'meatier', and he seems to be right)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin (I'd have used 2, but we turned out to be nearly out)
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 small fresh chopped chilli
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
the dried chillies, sliced
Leave for about a minute, then put in the slow cooker, with a splash of the chilli infused coffee (I'd chuck the rest, it's not as nice - on its own - as chilli chocolate). Check your tomatoes - they might be sufficiently reduced by now.
Add a little more oil to the frying pan, and briefly brown
400g shin. The key word is 'briefly', so the heat should be high. Shin needs stewing to be good, so you don't want to cook it. Actually you could probably skip this step, but I don't see the point of cooking meat without at least some Maillard reactions
Add to slow cooker. Deglaze the pan with 100ml red wine. Add that to the slow cooker. Add 200ml chicken stock. (Which was the home-made stock I had handy). Stir.
Cook on low for at least five hours.
At some stage during this time, roast and skin two peppers. (If you're going to be out all day, you CAN skip the roasting and skinning stage, but it really does make the finished result a lot nicer).
... I will come back to this entry later, and finish it off.
ETA: stage two, about one hour before you want to eat is ideal.
Chop your roasted peppers. Drain two 300g cans of beans - I like to use one of canillini, and one black-eyed beans. You could use kidney beans instead of the black eyed beans, or two tins of kidney, if you prefer, but I'm not mad on kidney beans on their own. Taste, and adjust the seasoning to taste. If your chillis turned out to be unexpectedly wimpy, then chop up another and throw it in. Hot sauce, e.g. Tabasco (I like the chipotle variety, which you can sometimes find in UK supermarkets) is also useful and gives you more precise control.
Eat, with rice, corn bread, or - and I know this is probably wrong - cheese grits.
Reflections: I think 1 tsp cumin is too little. The coffee is a good addition to the sauce, but it needs to be properly strong.Crossposted from http://tree-and-leaf.dreamwidth.org/667017.html.