In light of recent economic developments, there’s a lot of talk of belt tightening circulating right now. And while we always encourage thriftiness here at RwR, the one area where we refuse to cut back or make compromises is in the kitchen. So what if much like Brother Eli in “There Will Be Blood,” the good lord completely failed to alert you to the recent panic in the economy? Tonight you’re going to throw caution to the wind, open up that 401K,* cook up some chili and feast like some Texan land baron of old. Tonight, you’re bringing chili back.
*Please note that retirement planning suggestions from wayward lunatics impersonating famed athletes do not constitute sound financial advice. Please consult with your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Now yes, there are a plethora of chili recipes floating around the internets. Barack Obama even posted one, although much to Rickey’s concern, he states “can't reveal all the secrets” to his personal recipe. What exactly are you hiding Senator? Does your secret chili recipe contain illicit mood altering drugs, courtesy of the Weather Underground? Eh, but that’s neither here nor there. Rickey is confident that his chili recipe could easily trounce the competition, now matter how high, mighty, and connected with the Chicago underworld they may be.
A brief note on cooking paraphernalia: normally, Rickey would tell you that it matters very little what kind of cookware you use (witness Rickey’s stalwart aluminum Faberware pots and pans which get the job done just fine). But not in this case. For truly awesome chili, you need a cast iron dutch oven capable of evenly dispersing low heat throughout the pot—the sort of thing that Prometheus himself would cook on. Yes they’re incredibly heavy, they take up tons of space, and there’s the increased risk of flaked bits of iron ending up in your food, but look on the bright side: hasn’t your doctor been nagging you about getting more iron in your diet? And as an added bonus, cooking on a cast iron dutch oven allows you to pretend you’re a cowboy, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Being unrepentant carnivores, we’ll kick things off with a discussion of the meats. Rickey likes to go a bit above and beyond the commonplace ground chuck. Behold, an assortment of meats that would make Dr. Robert Atkins’ arteries burst with joy:
You’re looking at only the choicest meats from Rickey’s local butcher: sirloin steak, fancy schmancy pork sausage, and 90% lean ground sirloin. And if you’re seeing this and are suddenly reminded of Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle,” no, you are not alone. While this recipe calls for the use of grade-A meats, you’ll obviously need to work your way down the food chain as our economic climes increasingly worsen (we hear that raccoon meat is delectable). Below follows the complete list of items you’ll need to craft this chili:
1 pound cubed sirloin steak
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound cut pork sausage
2 white onions, finely chopped
Several cloves of garlic, minced
Oregano tea (a half cup of hot water steeped with oregano for 30 minutes)
1 long green hot pepper, minced
1 cup beef stock
5 ounces of tomato sauce
½ ounce regular dark chili powder
2 ounces Gebhardt's chili Powder
1 ounce fresh ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh ground coriander
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 cans of pinto beans (far superior to their kidney brethren, Rickey finds)
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Start off by browning the meat in small batches in your dutch oven. This delicious meat slurry is the base around which you will craft the rest of this culinary masterpiece. To take a quote from the presidential campaign trail quote wildly out of context, the fundamentals of this chili are strong.
Rickey finds that more than any other component of this recipe, fresh ground cumin and coriander are essential. Got a coffee bean grinder? How about a nearby Indian grocery store? Well then, you friend, are in business. Just remember to thoroughly clean out the coffee grinder when you’re done—cumin and coriander leave an incredibly pungent flavor residue which didn’t exactly enhance Rickey’s cup of joe this morning.
Next, add the ground cumin, coriander, tomato sauce, cocoa, and beef stock, mixing everything well. Cook this mixture for about 30 minutes. Then add the oregano tea. Cover your dutch oven and cook the chili over low heat about 2 hours or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. When cubed sirloin has consistency of butter, you’re just about finished.
During the last 30 minutes add the canned pinto beans. Then sample the goods and adjust the flavor with the salt, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and Frank’s Red Hot Pepper Sauce, if needed. These final seasonings are all to taste, so feel free to add as much or as little as you want—you’re the hero of this story, not us. Also, bear in mind that chili actually improves with time spent in the fridge. Rickey refers to this phenomenon as the “fermentation of awesomeness.” Rickey is a very technical man, as you can plainly tell.
[posted at Humor Blogs]