How to Make Texan Chili con Carne, Part 1

Epicurious's Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to Texas, with a demonstration of a recipe for beef-and-bean Chili con Carne with Chili Cheddar Shortcakes, prepared by Chef Bruce Mattel of The Culinary Institute of America.

Released on 10/29/2009

Credits

Starring: Bruce Mattel and Tanya Steel

Transcript

00:00
(bouncy energetic music)
00:05
(moves into dramatic orchestral music)
00:11
Hi, I'm Tanya Steel,
00:13
Editor-in-Chief of Epicurious.com,
00:14
and you're watching Around the World in 80 Dishes.
00:17
Today we're checking out the cuisine of the US of A.
00:21
I've got the expert here, Bruce Mattel,
00:24
Chef Extraordinaire from the Culinary Institute of America,
00:27
and we're heading to the great state of Texas
00:29
to make some Chili Con Carne, with chili cheddar shortcakes.
00:32
Oh my God, when can we start?
00:34
This sounds so good.
00:36
Well, put in some oil into our pot,
00:38
and you want to use a decent heavy gauge stock pot
00:43
so that you can get the pan really hot,
00:46
so it browns everything really nice,
00:47
so it cooks everything pretty nicely.
00:49
Once you get that pretty hot, add the onions.
00:52
Okay.
00:53
Usually you try to cook onions before other ingredients
00:57
so that you cook some of the sulfur out of them.
00:59
[Tanya] Right.
01:01
[Bruce] You just want to sweat those a little bit.
01:02
[Tanya] Thank you.
01:03
[Bruce] That's a rubber spatula,
01:06
but it's heat resistant.
01:08
Now that you got the onions sweating,
01:09
your want to add some garlic.
01:11
Garlic, okay.
01:12
And the carrots,
01:14
and you want to soften the carrots just a bit.
01:18
It's good to add the garlic after the onions
01:20
so that you have a little moisture in there,
01:22
so that the garlic doesn't burn.
01:24
I see, so that it doesn't get bitter.
01:25
Right.
01:27
You know, in the essence of time,
01:28
we're gonna move this dish along just a little bit,
01:30
but if you're making this at home,
01:33
take your time because really it's a food that could last
01:37
a long time, and that it only gets better.
01:40
If you make it the day before, and you have time,
01:42
make it the day before,
01:43
and then just let it sit in the refrigerator,
01:46
and just all those flavors will marry.
01:48
It's best, in my opinion after two or three days.
01:51
Two or three days, okay.
01:52
[Bruce] Sure, so now that, that's sweated a little bit,
01:54
add your beef.
01:55
{Tanya] Okay.
01:56
This is coarse ground chuck,
01:57
and it's a little on the fattier side,
01:59
because fat is flavor.
02:01
[Tanya] Flavor, yeah.
02:02
[Bruce] Obviously if someone wanted
02:05
a little healthier version,
02:06
they could use either beef shank meat or top round,
02:10
or a cut that is traditionally much leaner.
02:13
[Tanya] I see.
02:15
You really want to brown the meat,
02:17
and the browning was a Maillard reaction,
02:20
which is the browning of protein.
02:21
It usually adds a little more flavor and character
02:24
to the dish.
02:25
If you want to really ump this up even more,
02:27
in terms of flavor, do the meat first.
02:29
Take it out, cook the vegetables, put the meat back in.
02:33
Put the meat back in.
02:33
Okay.
02:35
Then add your light foods.
02:39
Again, in the essence of time, I'm going to ask you
02:41
just to cook that till the meat is pretty much,
02:44
really three quarters cooked.
02:45
[Tanya] Yep.
02:46
It's getting there.
02:48
Then we'll add our spices next.
02:50
It's good to add the spices
02:51
before you add the liquid component.
02:53
Well why is that?
02:54
Because the dry heat will toast the spices a little bit,
02:58
and develop the character.
02:59
Oh, okay.
03:00
Of those spices.
03:01
Tell me what we've got here.
03:03
We have cumin, ground cumin, and if you wanted,
03:07
you could even toast these dried spices first,
03:10
a little bit even in the oven,
03:11
to freshen up the flavor,
03:13
but it's not absolutely imperative.
03:15
Or in a skillet, right?
03:16
In a skillet too, on low heat.
03:18
Add some crushed red pepper.
03:19
[Tanya] Ooh, that's gonna give it a little bit of fire.
03:21
[Bruce] Sure, chili powder.
03:23
This guy right here? Mm-hmm.
03:24
[Tanya] Now how much should I use, a pinch?
03:25
No, use it all.
03:26
This whole thing?
03:27
Yeah, it's sweet chili powder.
03:28
Oh, okay.
03:29
It's not hot, and that's the real key to Chili Con Carne,
03:33
is the chili powder
03:34
[Tanya] I see.
03:35
[Bruce] And the dried chilies.
03:36
Because that looks scary when you just add all of that.
03:39
I know but it--
03:40
It's a sweet chili powder.
03:41
That's probably the most important ingredient in the dish.
03:44
I see, okay.
03:47
Okay, what do we got there?
03:48
You add a little pinch of cayenne.
03:52
Maybe one more.
03:52
[Tanya] One more pinch.
03:53
[Bruce] I like two alarm chili,
03:54
(Tanya laughs)
03:55
and some dried oregano.
03:57
[Tanya] Okay.
03:57
[Bruce] If you can get Mexican oregano.
03:59
Yes, that's the best kind, right?
04:01
It's a little different,
04:02
and it's a little more complimentary to the dish.
04:09
Once you get those spices in there,
04:12
toast it up.
04:13
It's starting to look good already.
04:14
[Tanya] Yeah it is, and it smells really good.
04:19
All right.
04:20
[Bruce] That's looking good.
04:21
Normally you let it cook for about 10 minutes or so.
04:23
Yeah, you want it to cook a little bit longer than that,
04:25
but it looks pretty good.
04:27
Yeah.
04:39
(steel drum music)