Ghost Chili Con Carne

Texans argue about chili all the time—Beans? No beans? Tomatoes? No tomatoes? But this delicious kitchen sink version has one inarguable element: the Naga Jolokia Ghost Chile of India varietal chile extract!  Its great heat and its warm tomato/bell pepper flavors, bring any chili to tingling perfection.

Super Bowl Ghost Chili Con Carne

Makes 4 large servings (supplemented by plenty of beer and tortilla chips)

1/4 cup vegetable oil, or more if necessary
28-ounce can tomatoes, drained
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef chuck
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 3/4 cups unsalted chicken broth (homemade or canned), plus more if necessary
3/4 cup cheap beer
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chili spice mixture (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 ounces canned kidney beans, drained
About one teaspoon Naga Jolokia Ghost Chile of India varietal chile extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with a thin layer of the oil. Slice all of the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Drizzle a small amount of oil over each tomato half, place the baking sheet in the oven and roast them for about 1 hour.  They will shrink a bit, concentrating their flavor, but should still be quite moist. Remove them from the oven, chop them coarsely and reserve.





2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Just as the oil begins to smoke, add the pork and beef and lightly brown it all over, reducing the heat if the meat threatens to burn, about 5 or 6 minutes (do this in batches if the skillet doesn’t easily contain the meat in one layer). As the meat cooks, break up the larger chunks with a wooden spoon. Transfer the meat to a bowl and reserve.

3. Let the skillet cool slightly and place it over a medium-low flame, adding another 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and garlic; cook gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth, beer, 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture, the salt and the tomato paste, scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any browned bits. Add the reserved roasted tomatoes and reserved meat, raise the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil. Immediately reduce to a bare simmer, cover loosely with a lid or foil and cook, very gently, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in the beans, the remaining 1 teaspoon of chili spice mixture, and the Ghost Chile extract to taste. Cover loosely, and cook for 1/2 an hour or more. When ready, the chili should resemble a stew with a thinnish liquid, but shouldn’t be at all watery. Stir in additional broth or water if it seems a bit dry. Conversely, if the mixture seems a bit loose and wet, uncover the skillet and allow it to simmer and thicken slightly. Taste for seasoning, and serve in individual bowls.



Chili Spice Mixture

3 tablespoons prepared Mexican-style chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons firmly packed dark brown sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Check out a few hot sauce recipe videos HERE.

Photo courtesy of BigStock Images