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This one has potential, but needs some work. Needs more “wow!”. More cayenne, more espresso, more black pepper. Less sugar. Needs something else…

2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp finely ground espresso
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir, breaking up any lumps.
2. Store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months.

Makes enough for 1 rack of ribs.

dry rub

As promised in this recent post, I prepared a mean chili for last weekend’s Super Bowl.

Start by rendering bacon in a bit of oil in a large pot. Once slightly crispy, remove the bacon, leaving the bacon fat in the pot, and set aside. Sweat chopped onions and garlic in the fat. (For a spicier version, add chopped jalape├▒os to the party at this point.)

Once the onions are translucent, add the spices and toast for 1-2 minutes: paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon and cocoa powder all made it into my chili. (Here is when you should deglaze with a bottle of beer and allow it to reduce, a step which I forgot.)

Now add ground beef and cook until it just loses its pink color, stirring often to break the meat apart. Pour in canned diced tomatoes, rinsed canned black beans and the reserved bacon and add enough chicken broth to cover.

Over low heat, strirring occasionally, cook the chili until the liquid has mostly evaporated, which, for me, took about two hours. Season with salt to taste.