Chili for a Crowd 

This recipe is simple but makes 12 qts in my hotel pan in my convection oven. Takes about 4 hours to make. Then allow cool-down.

Add:
chopped peppers and continue to bake
until beans are soft and peppers are soft but still retain some shape. 60 minutes (at convection 400* downstairs oven quickly finished the chili!). Maybe want to turn oven down to convection 350* - 400* so the flavors develop.

Basic brining ratio: 3 T in 4 qts cold water at least 8 hrs.

**The chili came out of the oven at 190* (with an instant read). Leave uncovered and stir often as the goal is to only have two hours where it is cooling through 140* down to 40*. Be careful not to warm up everything in the fridge, add some blue ice. But be sure it is cool before going in since it is such a large quantity.

**Chili improves with a day or two to set. The flavors really mature, I don't know why.

**Can cook or reheat two hotel pans in my oven and two more in downstairs oven. I want to reheat all the way to 180* - 190* consistently throughout

**For 4 hotel pans I preheated the ovens to 500*. Put two pans in each oven, turned down to convection 350*. After 90 minutes pans were heated to 160*. Then convection 250* for another 60-90 minutes.

***To avoid the cooling and heating process for 4 hotel pans of chili for church, I finished it Saturday afternoon and let it cool and have a rest. Then I held it all night in the oven at 170*. It was still fresh and good in the morning. I also didn't add the freshly chopped peppers until I put it in the oven for the night. They were still brightly colored and good!
Quantity for 12 quarts - one hotel pan (hotel pan is 14 qts but 12 qts usable) (nearly 50 8 oz servings)

Brine 2 1/2 lb pinto beans in salt water overnight. 1/4 c salt into 6 qt water.

Salt the ground beef and refrigerate.

In deep hotel pan saute at convection 500* ( my big oven doesn't hold its heat when opened often but try to keep it at 500*) about 3 lb ground beef, previously salted hopefully, with some chopped onions - sprinkle with salt while they are on the cutting board, to allow that salt to go into the onions. Drizzle a little oil over them since the ground beef usually doesn't have enough fat on it. Saute just until meat begins to lose its pink color and the onions are translucent. Add a little of the tomatoes and break the meat up. (this keeps the meat soft) Return to the oven very briefly.

Meanwhile gather:
1/3 c ancho chili powder
1 heaping T cumin seeds and
1 T coriander seeds - ground together
1 T mexican oregano
Add to meat and return to convection oven 500* to saute for just a minute or two.

**  Can use my 'dry BBQ rub' spices in place of these spices. Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup and add the coriander seeds.

Add:
2 #10 cans whole tomatoes in their juice
the soaked beans all rinsed off.
2 whole bulbs of garlic, whole bulb nicked like you do for soup.
Cover and bake about 1-2 hours (at convection 500* (especially for two pans) until beans begin to soften.

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