Sunday, May 3, 2009

Yes, I am an addict!

I went to the first branding of the season here. We're still pretty heavy into calving, but some ranchers brand early and then do pick-ups on their own as the calving continues. I'll post a coupla pics of the session later, but this post is not about that. This post is about my personal affliction.

Chili is one of the very few foods I get a positive, gut-deep hankering for. When I came home from the branding this afternoon I needed chili. Unfortunately there was none already made up as there usually is, so I dug out the large, deep-sided cast-iron skillet and fired 'er up.

Here's the "recipe" (hearty laughter in the background!) for my quick chili. (About 30-minutes from start to slurping.) Please note that the highly precise measurements for this recipe must be strictly adhered to or I will not be responsible for the result and you will not get your money back. You've been warned...

In the skillet, coupla dollops of olive oil and a double fling of granulated garlic. Let toast. Add 1-pound of extra lean grass-fed ground beef. (My usual meat is cubed steak but no time, no time!) To meat add double squinch of ancho chili powder, half-handful of Mexican oregano, squinch of ground chipotle (hot!), mega-dollop of cumin, and triple squinch of cocoa powder. Brown meat well.

Add 2 cans Kuner's of Colorado Black Beans with JalopeƱos and Lime juice and one can of Kuner's unsalted black beans. Stir, stir, stir. Add mega-drizzle of red wine. Add very carefully measured demi-dollop of balsamic vinegar. Let simmer. Observe bubbles on the surface. Taste and add ingredients as needed. (Follow this direction exactly.) Add water to desired consistency. If it ain't right, add more ancho. Still lacking? Add chipotle.

Toast some corn tortillas. Pour some wine. Ladle chili into bowl. Sit. Eat. Ignore sad faces on dogs.

Chili should really be allowed to season a bit. Several heating-cooling cycles. Several days is best. (It will be much better tomorrow; to die for the next day; and gone the next.) But sometimes the addiction just won't wait. You either know of that which I speak or you do not.


OrangeNeckInNY said...

Your precision cooking method is the same as mine.

And I DO know how much betterer chili tastes 2 days later, IF there's any left at all.

Anonymous said...

"If ya know beans about chili,
ya know chili ain't got no beans."
/Texas Snob

Rio, next time you and The Dawgz grace the grounds of Chateau Iceberg we'll make a pot o' mine and we can compare notes.


Roxie said...

Nothing better than two or three-day old chili. And chili without meat and beans just is not chili, imho.

Rio Arriba said...

Oh, yeah. The bean thang. There are many rooms in the chili mansion and I appreciate them all from chili verde to my own concoction of anasazi chili. Making "rules" about chili is like trying to rope the wind. I'll sure look forward to some of that 'Berg chili!

Roxie, when the press of time and stomach is not on me I try to let my chili age for at least three days. In the winter I set it out back and let it freeze, then bring it in and let it thaw, then repeat. It helps to also heat up the whole pot when you want just a bowl or two and then put the remainder through the age-drill again.

I consider chili the quintessential American food, in all its forms.

BobG said...

I like making a huge pot of chili, and then freezing it in one quart containers. The chili seems to get better even while frozen.

Your seasoning looks similar to mine; chipotle, ancho, and chocolate mixed in with cumin are the basics, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Chili is good for the soul. Between it and beef stew, I could lead a comfortable life and never eat anything else.

PreparingMama said...

This made me laugh! I have never had chocolate in my chili, though. Sounds......strange.