#SamLikesItHot: Warming chili

Sam Oh
We end rainy day month with a dish that will surely warm you up

COMPLEX, TASTY. There are so many ways you can enjoy this chili. Photo by Sam Oh

MANILA, Philippines – I am often asked about my favorite cuisine and it’s a question I struggle with quite a bit. I imagine it’s like naming a favorite child.

I usually spew out 3 or 4 off the top of my head and then feel bad about all the other types of cuisine I forgot to mention. The ultimate realization is that the whole favorite cuisine game is an exercise in futility for me because I just love all good food, period. 

Having said that, I absolutely adore Mexican food. I really enjoy the aggressive and flavorful spices, fresh vegetables, abundant cheese and different textures that come together for a fiesta in my mouth. So I thought it would be a nice nod to the cuisine to end rainy-day-favorites month with a nice bowl of chili. 

The only problem is, it turns out chili is not a Mexican dish. I know, right?! The origins of this dish are hazy but it appears it may have crossed over from Spain to Texas where it is celebrated as its official state dish. 

I scoured the Internet for the best chili recipes and pieced together one that I thought I’d like best. It makes a big batch — big enough to feed about 10 people and maybe with change — but chili freezes very well so you can put leftovers away for a rainy day, har har.

This chili is very easy to make and it’s delicious!

You’ll need:

  • About 3 T olive oil
  • 1 kg lean ground beef
  • ½ kg lean ground pork
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (I used one white and one red, just for some added complexity)
  • 1 250 ml pack tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 12oz bottle Guinness (or Cerveza Negra)
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 2 t paprika
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 2 t sugar
  • ½ t ground coriander
  • About 2 T dark chocolate
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped (or hot sauce as desired)
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 t cornmeal
  • 1 t flour
  • About 3 T warm water

1. Put a large pot over medium heat. Swirl in the olive oil. When the oil is ready, brown the ground meat. I recommend you do this in batches so you get some good browning. Browning your meat will add yet another dimension of flavor to your dish.

Photo by Sam Oh

2. When the last batch of ground meat is browned, add the chopped garlic and onions and cook until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes.

Photo by Sam Oh

3. While you wait, how about you take your dried spices, herbs and sugar into a small bowl? I get frazzled sometimes when I have to measure out a bunch of ingredients that are headed straight for the pot while everything is cooking.

This way, you can give everything a nice stir and it will all get distributed evenly. You can even do this before the first batch of ground meat hits your pot.

Photo by Sam Oh

4. Take this spice mixture and add it to your pot. Also tip in the tomato sauce, beer, chipotle in adobo sauce (or hot sauce), dark chocolate, water and beef bouillon cubes. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for 2 hours.

Photo by Sam Oh 

Can I just show you the beautiful chocolate I used for this chili? Another The Manila Collectible Co find. 

Photo by Sam Oh

5. After two hours, it should look a little something like this. Adjust seasoning to taste. Take the cornmeal, flour and water to a small bowl and stir to make a slurry. Add to the pot and bring to a boil one more time then simmer for another 20 minutes.

Photo by Sam Oh

And with that, our homemade chili is done! You can serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese.

Nacho chips would be great, too. I went with crushed whole wheat crackers, grated cheese and a touch of chopped leeks just to freshen things up a little bit.

Photo by Sam Oh

This is the kind of dish that just gets better and better as it sits so the leftover scenario is actually ideal. Feel free to think outside the bowl — have it over pasta or even rice, between slices of bread or make chili fries!

I’m flabbergasted that another month is coming to an end. I’m equally excited to welcome another culinary month: comfort foods in September! – Rappler.com

Check out our other recipes:

Sam Oh

Sam Oh is a professional TV and events host, radio jock and foodie. Catch her on radio at First Thing In The Morning with Sam and Gibb on Magic 89.9, Monday to Thursday, 6am to 9am. She is also a food blogger at Sam Likes It Hot. If you have questions or recipe requests, email desk@rappler.com with subject heading SAM LIKES IT HOT.

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