Chili with bitter aftertaste and not enough kick

  • Chili with bitter aftertaste and not enough kick spouky

    I cooked chili using the following ingedients:

    • Oil for sauteing
    • 1.5 pounds beef, minced
    • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
    • 1 red bell peper, diced
    • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
    • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
    • 1 12 oz bottle of beer
    • 2 tsp sugar

    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

    • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne peper
    • 1 tsp red peper flakes
    • 2 tsp Tabasco
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
    • 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce

    • 1 can of cooked red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

    The method was, basically:

    • Saute onions and pepers for approx 5 minutes
    • Brown beef
    • Add tomato paste, and mix
    • Add can of tomatoes and mix
    • Add beer
    • Add sugar, salt and pepper
    • Boil for approx 20 min
    • Add remaining spices
    • Cover and simmer for 2.5 hours
    • 20 minutes before it's done, add the beens

    Two problems:

    • A slight bitter aftertaste
    • Not enough kick

    I think that the bitter aftertaste is from the cayenne pepper. I have read that cayenne pepper is quite neutral in taste (not bitter) and carries a lot of heat. Is this correct?

    Then I tried this: Put a couple of spoonfuls of chili on a plate. Add 1/4 tsp (approx) of cayenne pepper and mix. Taste. Well, the heat increased, but not TERIBLY so (it was perfectly eatable). Also the bitter aftertaste became worse.

    I also tried tasting a tip of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, directly. Ok it was hot, but not unbearably so. Most of the heat was in my throat, not in my mouth (mostly as an aftertaste), and I did have that bitter aftertaste

    Can something be wrong with my batch of cayenne peper? Or is this how cayenne peper realy tastes?

    I could reduce the amount of cayenne in my recipe, but then I would need something to increase the heat.I could go with more tabasco (I tried this on a spoonful of chili) but this would, also, increase the acidity (tastes a bit sour) which is not terible, but not ideal either

    Any sugestions?

  • I've never known cayenne pepper to have any flavor, so if it is bitter you may have a bad batch, or the brand you are using may have put in additives that give it a bitter flavor. You may have other sources of bitterness:

    • beer: brewers add hops to beer to give it bitterness, and some beer is more bitter than others, it depends on which type you chose
    • Tomato paste: this can have a bitter taste if it is not fried off. If you add it directly to liquid it often adds bitterness to a dish
    • Kidney beans: I've always found that canned kidney beans have a bitter taste, even if rinsed

    So there's other ways you could get bitter chili. I'd balance it out by adding some sugar or honey plus maybe a bit of lemon juice or tamarind paste.

  • Different brands of cayenne pepper taste quite different. Some not so good.

    I bought some Frontier Cayenne Pepper from Amazon. I was curious how hot that actually was, so I put some on a spoon and tasted it. Definitely hot (as in, I do not recommend repeating this experiment). Also had a nice pepper flavor.

    Tried the same with my store brand that I had before. Was not hot (at least, not compared to the Frontier stuff!), and also tasted pretty bad. More like dirt. Spit that out, and deposited the rest in the trash.

spicy-hot chili
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