Friday, February 1, 2013

Super Bowl Beef, Chipotle & Bean Chili with Avocado






Whether you're a true football fanatic or only hoping to catch the halftime show, there's one hard and fast rule: Superbowl and chili go together like Fred and Ginger — it's a delicate dance but definitely worth the hard work. Great chili is complexly flavoured: spicy, smoky, savoury and rich. While subtler dishes require restraint, it’s hard to go overboard where chili ingredients are concerned. In fact, you’re at greater risk of making a mediocre chili if you add too few bold ingredients, than if you add too many. For spice, after the mandatory chili powder and cumin, chipotle chiles packed in adobo sauce are the ace up your sleeve. 






Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce — fabulous in chili or Pork Carnitas



They add a sublime smokiness, so unique and distinctive with a luscious layer of fabulous flavour that it's amazing they’re simply jalapeños that have been desiccated in smoke. Serve this Superbowl Chili with an assortment of the usual suspects — garnishes like grated cheddar, sour cream, a generous scoop of avocado salsa and sprig of cilantro, and no matter which team you support, your friends will consider you a true culinary patriot and a giant among fans.




Fresh and tart Avocado Salsa adds a cool and creamy note to the Chili



Super Bowl XLVII Beef, Chipotle & Bean Chili with Avocado Salsa
Serves 12

1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 lb yellow onions coarsely chopped
1 pound mild Italian sausages, removed from casings
4 lb ground beef
1 12 oz can tomato paste
4 chipotle plus 1/2 cup adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup ground cumin
2-3 tbsp chili powder
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
3 28 oz cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
4 tbsp chopped parsley
2 16 oz cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 5 oz cans pitted black olives, rinsed and drained

Optional garnishes:
4 cups sour cream
1 cup cilantro
4 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 bunch spring onion, chopped
2 avocado avocado, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground beef, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until it's well browned. Spoon off as much excess fat as you can and discard.

Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley, kidney beans and chipotle with adobe sauce. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Just before serving, add the olives and simmer for about 5 minutes more to heat through.

Just before serving the chili, stir in the remainder of the cilantro and 1/4 cup of lime juice and cook about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if desired. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream, a generous scoop of avocado salsa and a sprig of cilantro on top of each serving. My friend Charles' fabulous Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread pairs brilliantly with this Super Bowl chili!






Avocado Salsa
Serves 6 - double for 12

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup red onion, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
2 avocados, finely diced
1 cup sour cream, optional
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


While the chili simmers, start the Avocado Salsa by first dicing the avocado and placing in a bowl with 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. Add the onion and half of the cilantro into the avocado-lime mixture, stirring to combine. This can be kept in the refrigerator until the chili is ready.