In the newest installment of KarmaFleet Cooks, INN’s own Dirk Stetille brings us his ‘Rampage Chilli’ – let us know what you think in the comments below!
On June 17, the Rampage Inc. discord community held a chilli cook-off. I decided to participate, and thought it would be interesting to share my ‘recipe’ with you all here at INN. Please note, I cook chilli to taste, not to exact measurements; as a result, I’ll be taking you through the seasoning process in rough stages.
The list of ingredients here is vaguely long, but it’s absolutely worthwhile in my opinion. For this batch, I used:
500g beef mince, ~5% fat
200g bacon lardons
1x medium white onion, diced
1x medium red onion, diced
2x bell pepper, diced
3x medium carrots, chunked
3x tinned chopped tomatoes
Chopped garlic, approx. 4 cloves (I cheated with pre-chopped garlic)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
~200-250ml red wine (use something you also enjoy drinking, I used a solid Shiraz)
~900ml beef/vegetable stock (1:1 ratio, mixed well)
Ground sea salt
This is a one-pan cook, so once the veg is prepped, drop a small drizzle of oil in your pan and get the pan on a high heat. Once the pan and oil are both hot, drop your beef and bacon in, along with some salt, pepper, and a clove of chopped garlic, and keep the meat moving until it’s all browned off.
Once that’s done, drop in your onions, stir until they soften up, and then drop in a quick dash of wine (~50ml) to deglaze the bottom and edges of the pan.
This is where you add in your chopped tomatoes. Bring the hob down to a medium-high heat, and stir occasionally while the liquid from the tomatoes reduces down.
Once that happens, throw in the rest of your veg and stir through. The vegetables are here to provide some sweetness and additional flavour to the early bite, before we add in some heat and try to balance that sweetness off with the later ‘kick’.
Once everything is evenly stirred, it’s time to add some additional flavour. This is the first major point for adding herbs and spices to the chilli, including starting to add some heat. Be aware that there are multiple points for adding herbs/spices to taste preferences during this process, so don’t go overboard now.
Here I added the mustard, some rosemary, some thyme, some basil, some chopped parsley, another clove and a half of garlic, a dash and a half of chilli flakes, and a bit of smoked paprika too. I also added another small bit of wine here, roughly 50-75ml.
Stir this evenly for a couple of minutes. Once it’s all mixed thoroughly, add the first batch of stock (~250-300ml) and stir thoroughly again. This is how it looked:
At this point, the aim is to reduce down and infuse that stock flavour with the rest of the dish; you want to be stirring every 5-10 minutes, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom or sides of the pan. I tend to assess the heat each time I go to stir – it wants to simmer, not boil. Adjust the hob heat as needed.
The reduction period will take a while, but once the chilli has thickened up, you want to taste it and add further herbs/spices. It will be quite red at this point, and that’s a good way to judge chilli in my experience. The darker it is, the stronger the flavour.
I added in some ground ginger, some coriander, a little tabasco, plus a little extra basil and thyme, plus another dash of wine (50-75ml).
Stir in the extra seasoning, taste, assess, and then add the next round of stock. Once again, you’re looking to keep things at a simmer, slowly reducing down to infuse the flavour into the meat and vegetables.
This is how mine looked at that point:
After the chilli has reduced further, you can taste again and decide whether it’s done enough for your liking or not; if not, just season again to taste, add more stock, and keep going. I would suggest no more than three stock/reduction cycles though, as this can make for some very intense leftovers in the days following the cook.
Once the chilli reaches the final stage, it should look a little like this:
This is the point at which you make your final seasoning adjustments, and also put your accompaniment on the hob/in the oven. Keep stirring while the side-dish cooks, and when ready, feel free to serve!
I went with some simple long-grain rice to serve, with some fresh parsley for the picture fun. Brisc Rubal serves his with spaghetti – pick the side that works for you. It may or may not be completely unsuited to chilli…