Standard Chili for 30-35 in a Roaster

The Covered Dish

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This past week I had more on my plate than I could handle, but with lots of help from my husband, Ervin, and our office staff & OACAC board we made it through the big OACAC Chilingo. It was a big success. It really got me thinking about people who need to prepare large amounts of food when we work 8-10 hour days.

Typically when I’m making chili I look into my pantry and pull out random beans, etc. and throw together a bit pot of chili. This week I needed a ‘standard’ pot of chili, not too hot, not too mild, and not too heavy on the tomatoes, something that would appeal to at least 90% of the masses. It also had to be made in advance and held. It was also needed to feed about 30 persons. That means the recipe below was ‘doubled’. Read that again, I ‘doubled’ the recipe below to fill a roaster.

This time I got smart, I actually wrote a recipe for you as I went. So, if you too volunteer to make a huge amount of chili and you have lots of obstacles to work around you can fly through the preparations. Every item in my recipe can be modified out for your home recipe. Let me start by giving an example below:

I love Ranch style beans and I frequently make chili with this style of bean only. When I go in this direction I use more chipotle chili powder and less regular chili powder. I might even use a little more cumin. There’s a chance the cocoa powder could also come up a tad. That’s not even touching the type of meat you’re planning on using. For the double batch I made this past weekend I used 3 pounds of ground turkey and 2 pounds of my own beef (super lean). There was no fat in the skillet whatsoever! I felt that 2 1/2 pounds of beef was ample for a single batch, but some of you may want to up that amount to 3 1/2 pounds for a single. I did not feel my chili was lacking on meat at all.

I really like larger pieces of tomato in my chili, but I also know that people who don’t like tomatoes appreciate very small pieces. Green chilies and green peppers are also great, however there are many folks who cannot tolerate peppers in their diets.

You will need large stockpots or a totally empty shelf in a spare fridge for this process. One to two days before the event cook the meat and onion, drain well, cool, refrigerate. Before you go to work the day of the event, or the night before, put all of the ingredients together in the roaster, stirring well and refrigerate overnight. Heat at 350 degrees for about 2 hours before the event and you will be ready to go. It takes less than 20 minutes to open everything up and stir it into the roaster.

There wasn’t any chili left to bring home, so next weekend I may have to make another batch!
Enjoy the cool breezes and scents of fall. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com

Roaster Size Chili, (Double This Recipe)
2 1/2 – 3 lbs. fried, drained beef
1 very large onion, cooked with beef. (1 1/2 – 2 cups)
3 cans chili beans
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed (nice color pop)
29 oz. tomato puree
28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
3 cups tomato juice (1/2 of a 48 oz. can)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chili powder*
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder, fresh
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

A day or two before the big chili event fry the meat of choice and the onion together. Drain well, cool and refrigerate. . Before you go to work the day of the event, or the night before, put all of the ingredients together in the roaster, stirring well and refrigerate overnight. Heat at 350 degrees for about 2 hours before the event and you will be ready to go.

Of course, you can cook this first, cool it down, refrigerate and then reheat for the event. This is all a chef’s choice and your time factor. Many feel chili is better the next day.

*If the chili powder is from last season you will need more. This is one spice that tends to lose gusto as it sets on the shelf. Another good reason why you never add all your chili powder at once to a recipe.

Meat Prep: 30 minutes
Dump & Stir Prep 20 minutes
Cost: For everything except the meat the cost was around $15.00 for the double batch. I purchased all the canned goods at the local big ‘W’ store.

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