Texas Red Chile help
I've read the couple of long threads on this here, messed around with various chili powders, and now want to try a version using actual rehydrated dried chiles. The local market has a few varieties which I picked up - 3oz bag of New Mexico, 2oz bag of Ancho, and 1oz bag of Cascabels (which oddly are labeled mild - I though these were a little hotter than the other two). Would have loved guajillo, but they weren't available. Wondering about the ratio to use - I'd like a mild, rich base that I can add heat to with chipotle chili powder or chipotles in adobo (I also have cayenne, hot smoked paprika, and hot sauce as options). Should I just dump them all in, or measure a different ratio. This is going to be a basic beef, garlic, onion, chiles, oregano and cumin recipe +/- tomato paste with likely a little Penzey's Chili 3000 power added at the end as a kicker.
There are a lot of variables for hotness, but this chart is a pretty good general guide:
If you look at the older chili recipes, you'll see than Ancho is the suggested pepper. Since they're mild, that's probably what you're looking for as the base.
I've always strained my chili puree to get rid of solid bits and seeds. It's a pain, not really necessary, but it results in a smoother textured sauce.
Made it last night - found a few other chiles, so ended up with 4 anchos, 6 "California", 3 guajillos, and 3 cascabels as the base, along with 3.5lbs nice brisket that I cubed up. A large onion, and about 10 cloves garlic, oregano and cumin, and that should have been it.
But.....I should have sampled the soaking water, because I just pureed it without tasting and it was incredibly bitter. Had to add 12oz beer, 2tbsp brown sugar, and 8oz tomato paste to make a dent in it, but even the next day it still has a faint bitter aftertaste. Oh well, next time.
There already was a decent amount of heat, so I added smoked paprika instead of the chipotle, as well as 1/8 cup Penzeys Chili 3000 powder about an hour before I took it off the heat. The chile flavors were outstanding.
I've been making chili for more than 35 years, and each new batch is an experiment. My tolerance for extremely hot chiles has improved over the years, so trying to suggest which variety of chile to use is difficult. My chili is made with cubed beef rather than ground, and the meat is usually chuck roast or bottom round. I've also made chili with pork loin or boneless country rib meat. You may wish to use roasted red bell peppers that have been peeled and pureed instead of tomato paste. Some people look upon the use of tomato products in chili with disdain.
I suggest that you use what chile products you have on hand for making a potful, and have pen and paper handy to write down the ingredients and the method. Include the date that you made the chili. If you like the taste then you can replicate the recipe. If you wish to improve the taste, then you can do so. One thing about chili is that there are a gazillion recipes out there, and you need to find one of your own creation that suits your taste. This may not have helped you, but I belong to the "What if...?" school of cooking specializing in "Cuisine impromptu."
Another source of chili ingredients can be had from Pendery's of Fort Worth, TX. Pendery's has a website catalog (penderys.com) as well as a hard copy catalog. I have ordered from them several times.
Good luck with your chili brewing.
Thanks for the replies. I realize the tomato (and for some, the onion) are non-authentic. I'm actually hoping to not need the tomato, but in the past with a meat/powder/broth based chili I felt it helped. The bell pepper idea sounds good.
I may not even need the chili powder, but was thinking it might be cool to give it a little kick in the end, a la competition chili recipes. Will make that decision on the fly.
One other thoguht - have read mixed things about using the water that rehydrates the chili vs fresh water/broth when pureeing. Any thoughts on that?