Dateline, December 17th, 2016 – Houston, TX – woke up to a lovely morning. The sun was shining, 73 degrees. My dog and I took an extra long stroll, and looked forward to a beautiful day.
Dateline, December 18th, 2016 – Ice Planet Hoth, 6th Planet, Hoth System – I opened the front door of my house for our daily dog walk, and my dog and I were confronted with the fact that we had been transported to the remote solar system of Hoth. Your breath froze almost instantly after leaving your mouth. There was ice as far as the ice could see, with not a speck of green in sight. Realizing that we could not navigate the terrain on foot and paw, I summoned the nearest tauntaun to find the closest space where my dog could quickly relieve herself. We were intercepted by Imperial AT-AT’s, and had to scurry to the closest cave for safety. Worrying that we might die from hypothermia, we were relieved to find a wounded Wampa. Using the light saber that mysteriously appeared in my pocket, we slashed open the belly of the beast, and huddled inside it to absorb its heat until the winter storm passed.
Ok, so the windchill was only 25 degrees, but COME ON!!!
I spent an entire summer living through an average heat index of 110 (this is not an exaggeration). I don’t really care that the northern half of America is blanketed with 13 feet of snow, my blood has thinned out so much that a 25 degree windchill feels like there’s a constant Arctic blast hovering above my head.
So, when it’s -68 outside, there really is only one meal to make: chili!!
HOLD UP, YOU JUST MADE CHILI A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, YOU’RE ALREADY RECYCLING???
Ok, as you remember, that was fancy-pants upscale chili that was as much pot roast as chili. This is straight forward, ground beef and chuck steak red chili.
FINE, I’LL LET IT SLIDE.
You’ll be amazed at how hard it is to find a straight forward chili recipe online. Wild boar chili? Lots of them. Vegetarian chili? Sure. Peanut butter chili? Oh fuck’s sake I just made that up off the top of my head and sure enough…(although to be fair, the most prominent recipe comes from Robert Irvine, who has his own issues with fabrication, so this might all be an elaborate hoax to piss me off).
(It could happen.)
I really like this one. It has both ground beef and chuck steak, which gives it a pretty cool texture. It’s not really spicy, and kind of a little sweet, if you want it spicier you could add some cayenne pepper to heat it up. Really you can tweak this however you want, this is an excellent base to start from.
CAN I MAKE A MESS WITH THIS RECIPE?
Not really, other than cooking the beef there’s not too much to get messy with.
THAT’S OK, YOU’VE DONE PRETTY WELL WITH SLOPPINESS RECENTLY, I’LL GIVE YOU A PASS!
You’re full of generosity today.
THANKS, MY THERAPIST SAID IT WOULD DO ME GOOD TO CHILL OUT!
Good to know, keep up the meds.
Chunky Red Chili
Makes 6-8 really good sized bowls
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef (I like 80/20 for this)
2 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch chunks
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 green bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained
1 14-1/2 ounce can tomato sauce
2 15-1/2 ounce cans red kidney beans, drained
1 15-1/2 ounce can black beans, drained
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons dried basil
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 bay leaves
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook – breaking it up as you go along – until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove the ground beef, drain, and set aside on a plate.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot, and brown the beef chuck on all sides (you will need to do this in batches, you want a good crust on the chunks), about 8 minutes. Remove the chuck and add to the plate with the rest of the ground beef. Drain the pot.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. Add the onion and pepper and cook until just soft, about 4 minutes. Add all of the meat back to the pot, and add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, chili powder, basil, cumin, salt, and bay leaves. Stir to mix well and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer the chili, and cook, covered, for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Stir regularly during the 2 hours with a wooden spoon, and break up the tomatoes as you go along with the back of the spoon.
Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve. You could also allow the chili to sit in the refrigerator for a few days, it gets better with time.