Regular readers of our blog know that Valkre's value proposition includes RENDER software, the Differential Value Proposition methodology, expert services and support. However, one differentiator about Valkre that is not widely knows is that we have a few master chefs in house who sometimes delight the office with some amazing culinary delights. So, since winter has peeked its head around the corner here in Chicago, we thought we would end the blogging week by sharing Jay Ablian's chili recipe that won Valkre's chili cookoff.
Here's some of Jay's comments about his chili: "My chili takes time and effort to layer in the flavors to develop a complex taste. Its not about just throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pot at the same time and boiling it for 3 hours. I know this will sound corny, but making chili is a lot like creating value for your customers -- it's an endeavor that takes dedication and attentiveness, and if you put in the effort to do it right, everyone will love what you've created!"
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald Chili
1 ½ lbs of beef chuck, cut into ½” pieces
1 ½ lbs of pork shoulder, cut into ½” pieces
½ lbs of Mexican chorizo
6 ancho chile pods, seeds removed – if you don’t have pods, use 1/3 cup of ancho chile powder
2 pasilla (or guajillo) chile pods, seeds removed - if you don’t have pods, use 2 tbsps of pasilla powder
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 large poblano pepper
1 tbsp of cumin
1 bottle of Edmund Fitzgerald porter (you can use any dark beer but then you have to rename the chili)
1 28 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 canned chipotles, chopped finely, with adobo sauce
2 cups (or more) of beef broth
1 ½ oz of Mexican chocolate (Ibarra brand works nicely)
2 tsp of Mexican oregano
1 15 oz can of black beans
Cut open the chile pods, toast both sides in a hot skillet, put in a large bowl, and cover with hot water. Soak for 15-20 minutes. Once they pods are super soft, put them in a blender with just enough of the soaking liquid to puree until the consistency of tomato paste.
Roast poblano over an open flame until the skin gets black and blistered. Once the poblano has cooled, peel the blackened skin, remove the seeds, and dice the poblano.
Season the beef and pork with salt and brown in a heavy bottom pot (French oven preferable) at medium high heat. Do this in batches (otherwise you’ll get boiled meat). Remove meat from the pot and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add chorizo to the pot and cook till the chorizo starts to Render its fat. Add the onion and jalapeno. Sauté until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Add the garlic and the roasted poblano and sauté for a minute.
Add the pureed chiles and the cumin to the pot. Stir to incorporate in the onion mixture and gets heated through. Be careful to not allow the chile puree to burn. Add the browned meat back to the pot. Stir to ensure meat is well coated with the chile puree. Cook for a few minutes so that the meat starts to absorb the chili flavors.
Add the beer. Bring the mixture to boil until the beer has reduced. Add the roasted tomatoes, chipotles, and beef broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Add the chocolate. Simmer for 90 minutes (or until the meat is super tender) and stir occasionally to ensure bottom doesn’t burn.
Add the beans and oregano. Cook for 5 more minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add salt to your preference. Serve up with accompaniments of your choice -- sour cream, scallions, and tortilla chips are great additions to this chili.