WHAT’RE WE MAKING TODAY?
WHY ARE WE MAKING CHILI?
Is this is a serious question? Why would you ever not make chili?
DUDE, CHILL! I’M JUST GIVING YOU A SEGUE TO TELL YOUR STORY.
Ok, fine, props to you for using the right spelling of segue. You’re already better than the kids that hold up signs at Gameday like “Saturday’s Are For Penn State”.
Anyways, my fiancé loves chili. Like, she told me that she could eat it every night and be happy.
WHOA, THAT’S PRETTY COOL!
Yeah, I hit the jackpot of smart/beautiful/funny/football fan.
I DON’T BELIEVE THAT. IS SHE A ROBOT YOU BUILT IN YOUR BASEMENT?
I have never been able to put together a table or desk from Target that didn’t end up wobbling back and forth like a drunken leprechaun, there’s no way I could build a robot.
I’VE NEVER SEEN A DRUNKEN LEPRECHAUN.
Me either, but I’m sure if I did, I would say, hey that looks like every Target table or desk I ever tried to put together.
OK, SO CHILI!
Yes, thanks for getting me back on track.
Chili is great, because you can just go through your pantry and say “oh look, I have a can of tomatoes, a couple onions, and where did this extract of antelope come from”, and you have the base for a good chili.
ALRIGHTY THEN. THERE’S NO ANTELOPE IN THIS CHILI, RIGHT?
No, breathe easy.
I make a pot of chili every few weeks, trying new recipes to find my favorite. I even bought The Chili Cookbook to try and come up with some ideas.
YEAH, SO WHO’S THIS JAMES BEARD FELLA?
He was this old timey cookbook author and teacher, and people seemed to like him because they named cooking awards after him, and the only people that get them are ones that run restaurants that charge you $300 for an eleven course meal, each of which consists of one shrimp, and they look at you funny if you use the forks out of order.
I WOULDN’T FIT IN AT THOSE PLACES, I WAS KICKED OUT OF APPLEBEE’S FOR THROWING SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP AT MY DATE.
This recipe is suppose to “elevate” chili, which is the term that chefs use when they want to eat like the rest of the unwashed masses but still hold fancy chef street creed. “Ooooohhh, look at the baby back ribs that I smoked with green tea hibiscus leaves, and glazed with Romanian guava jelly and dusted with coffee powder ground from African beans that came out of a civet’s buttonhole.”
OH LORD, THERE’S NOT GOING TO BE BEANS IN IT, ARE THERE? YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE FUCKWADS THAT TELLS PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN’T HAVE BEANS IN CHILI, RIGHT?
Oh no. People should have whatever they want in their chili. If people don’t want beans in their chili, fine. People that say that your chili isn’t chili because it has beans in it can go fuck themselves. When I become president in 2036, the 1st thing I will do is legalize capital punishment for anyone that tells someone that their chili can’t have beans if they want it to be “authentic Texas chili”.
WHEW, OK THEN.
OH SHIT, WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?
I wouldn’t put beans in this version of chili. This one really should be just the beef and sauce, because the beef is pretty spectacular in large chunks, and the beans I think would get in the way of that. But I wouldn’t judge if you threw in a can or two of beans at the end.
OK, I’LL TRUST YOU…THIS ONCE…NOW THE IMPORTANT QUESTION…
CAN I MAKE A MESS WITH THIS RECIPE?
It’s a pretty straight-forward recipe, but there are a few opportunities to get a little messy.
FUCK’S SAKE…WHY AM I EVEN BOTHERING????
So searing the beef at the beginning is going to spray oil and grease. When you blend the sauce at the end, if you’re not careful, you can get that all over the place.
FINE, I’LL WORK WITH THAT, GIMME THE RECIPE!
You’re very demanding.
James Beard's Pot Roast Chili
From The Chili Cookbook
2 dried ancho chiles
1 3 pound beef chuck roast
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of your preferred browning fat (I used bacon fat, oil is fine too, butter not so much)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
1 14.5 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (see note)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons New Mexican light red chili powder (see note)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Place the dried chiles in a small bowl and add just enough hot water to cover them. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, until they’re softened up.
Season the roast with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the fat in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Sear the roast for 3 minutes on each side, then remove it from the pot. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, and chili powder to the pot.
Go back to the dried chiles, and remove the stems and seeds from the chiles. Add the flesh to the pot, as well as the soaking water.
Bring the chili to a simmer, then place it in the oven and let braise for 3 hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes. You could also put this in a slow cooker for 8 hours as this point as well.
Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Remove the roast and set it on a cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, chop or shred the meat into bite-sized chunks, removing any fat or nasty gristle.
Pour all the remaining ingredients into a blender, and puree. You could also use an immersion stick blender and do this without dirtying up the blender, but be prepared for a little spatter.
Pour the sauce and meat back into the Dutch oven, return to a simmer, then serve.
If you don’t have Mexican oregano, regular oregano will be fine, you probably won’t have enough need to get a whole container unless you cook a lot of Mexican food.
Try to seek out, however, a pure chili powder, instead of a commercial blend. You can use it if you have to, but the pure powder is going to taste better.