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May 15, 2020 - 2 minute read - Comments

Homage to Bens Chili

Ben’s Chili Bowl is an icon in the Washington D.C. community and cuisine. If you’re in town, you should visit. Until then, this gets you pretty close.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 pound ground chuck beef (80/20)

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped onion

  • Salt, good pinch. I dunno, ½ teaspoon? How much salt do you like?

  • Pepper, same deal

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika)

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon garam masala

  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne, maybe a full teaspoon if you like the tingle

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 1 ½  cups chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

What to Do

  1. Prep:
  • Chop that onion
  • Combine the spices in a little bowl.
  • Put the flour in a little bowl and add a wee splash of the broth. Whisk into a paste. Add a wee bit more broth and whisk into something that looks like highly-creamy coffee. Add this floury broth mixture back into all the broth. This is the way to avoid the clumpage.
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, start browning the beef. Add salt and pepper now.
  2. When the beef has let go of juices but is still pink, add the chopped onion. Let ‘em cook together for a while. Beef will brown. Onion will go translucent.
  3. Drain the fat. (I use a baster to draw the liquid out and into a can.)
  4. Add the spice mix and stir it about to cover all the beefy with goodness. The skillet will get a bit dry. That’s fine and intended. Stir about for a few minutes and let the spices roast a little until even more aromatic. 
  5. Stir in tomato paste and let cook for about five minutes to get the tinny flavor of canned tomato paste out.
  6. Give the floury broth mixture a stir to spin back up anything that settled, then add it to the skillet. Stir the mix about to get a consistent texture (combining the tomato-pasty, spicy-beef mixture with the brothy liquid)
  7. Add the cider vinegar and stir to mix.
  8. Keep heat on medium until the mix starts simmering, then lower heat to low to keep the barest simmer going. Let cook for 20 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.
  9. While waiting for the flavors to blend and the mixture to reduce, go donate some money to Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation in thanks for chili and community goodness.

Garam Masala White Pizza Sauce

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