Sep 22, 2008

Chili A La Hard Times

Hard Times Restaurant is a popular chili restaurant in the DC area. My husband loves chili and used to drag me there all the time when we first started going out. We don't eat out any more, so therefore I have to cook a lot of "junk" food at home. Hard Times traditionally serves their chili over spaghetti. Here's where I got the recipe from. PS: I also added corn and garlic to the pot.

3 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pounds ground beef chuck
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (i wish i used less of this)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (none used)
1 bay leaf 3 cups water 1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses (not used)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spaghetti, kidney beans (used white beans), chopped onion, grated Cheddar, and oyster crackers as traditional accompaniments, if desired

1. In a large heavy kettle cook the onions and the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onions are softened, add the beef, and cook the mixture, stirring and breaking up the lumps, until the beef is no longer pink.

2. Add the chili powder, the paprika, the cumin, the coriander, the allspice, the oregano, the cayenne, the cinnamon, the cloves, and the mace and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the bay leaf, the water, the tomato sauce, the vinegar, and the molasses and simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding more water, if necessary, to keep the beef barely covered, for 2 hours, or until it is thickened but soupy enough to be ladled. Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with salt and pepper.

4. The chili may be frozen or made 4 days in advance, cooled, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled. Serve the chili as is or in the traditional Cincinnati "five-way" style: Ladle the chili over the spaghetti and top it with the beans, the onion, the Cheddar, and the oyster crackers.


Anonymous said...

Hard Times Cafe was such a fav of our family when we lived in Alexandria! And a nice little walk right off the metro.
I will def have to try your recipe

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