I love a good hearty chili. It's such a versatile and forgiving dish, and I find it therapeutic to work on a batch. In my house it's almost unheard of for me to make a chili without at least a little kick- and there have been some accidental overboards. Learn from my mistakes: when cooking with a new variety of hot pepper, do your research. Check the Scoville Scale. Wear gloves.
With how often I make a batch of chili, I like to experiment sometimes. Adding things like honey or molasses to make it sweeter, cinnamon for a different addition of spice, even coffee for an added depth of flavor. But this is by far my best variety yet. The Cherry Bourbon Chipotle Spread adds just enough sweetness to round out the tart acidity of the tomatoes. There's an incredible warm and smoky flavor from the bourbon in the spread as well as the added chipotles. There's the right spiciness to warm you up on a snowy winter or 'chili' fall day.
So, let's get to it!
4 oz Small Batch Kitchen Cherry Bourbon Chipotle Spread
1 lb ground beef
1 medium sweet onion
2-3 gloves garlic, minced
2 Chipotles in adobo sauce
6 oz tomato paste
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can each kidney and black beans
3/4-1 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
I like to cook my chili in a crockpot to give those flavors time to combine and strengthen. So set your crockpot to high and add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and water and give it a good stir. Add in the chili powder, red pepper flakes, some salt, and the beans and let them sit while you cook the ground beef.
Chop up your onions, mince the garlic, and chop up the chipotles. Get the beef browning in a medium-high pan with some salt and the cumin. Add in the garlic and onions and cook until beef is fully browned and onions are translucent. Add in the chipotles and a little extra sauce as well as the Cherry Bourbon Chipotle Spread. Mix it all together and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add it to the crock pot and let it cook on high for an hour or two.
Serve however you like chili: as-is, over rice, with sour cream, etc.
And there you have it. Great for gatherings or just a cozy night in. Nice and hearty, sweet and smoky with just the right amount of spice.