Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tried to make chili, this ain't chili but it worked out well regardless


Here’s what I usually use. Here’s what I need to do better.

Meat. Previously chopped chuck. Today, boned short ribs (the real fucking thing, and they better be this time or I’m gonna murder someone with that giant knife I’ve been using lately), actual chopped chuck (seamboned, natch) and a beef shank at the bottom. A gigantic one. I fucking love those lately.

Beans. Previously canned richfood brand. This time…hmm. Not chickpeas, cause I’m on blood thinners at the moment.

Sausage – before, hillshire farms kielbasa. Now, leidy brothers kielbasa. (ended up being Karns pork sausage, which worked fine. Two links, about 26 inches)

Allium family – no green onions. Again, blood thinners. White onions as before, and a biiig fat Vidalia ifi can find one. Interesting that word autocapitalizes Vidalia. Also, farmer’s market garlic, and for the first time ever in one of my chilis, shallots. Possibly. (Turned out to be two sweet white onions and two heavy onniony onions and three small reds, as well as twelve shallots and two heads of garlic, peeled and sauteed before going into the pot whole)

Tomato – previously, canned paste. This time, tomato gel?  Ro-Tel, always.(actually, none..fuck tomato.)

Base – this is where shit’s gonna get absolutely fucking ridiculous. I’m going for absurdity. Three quarts, one each of beef, chicken and pork stock, each reduced to half of its previous volume. Then added over a hot pan that contains the sautéed aliums and a cup each of carrots and celery. Word to the mirepoix. The French know so much about food. (I skipped the mirepoix)

Spices – I wanna go mole. Thinking dark chocolate in addition to chili, cumin, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of bacon salt.(I have no idea how i spiced it)

Meat gets its own spice rub. Salt, pepper, bacon salt, and flour. Gotta get it all browned off perfectly.
I will be rocking all four burners at once. Three will be reducing my stocks on low, which will be spiked with the sautéed veggies. Numero Quattro will be my gigantor “The giant blue thing is coming to feed you!” cast-iron Martha Stewart pot. Everyone I know has a red one, but I love the deep blue.

Although this could make me change my mind. Sex, in pot form. (first google hit for query “bud shots”)

Workflow goes like this – peel and prep EVERYTHING. Including the kielbasa – leidy’s casing sucks. Start the stocks on ¼ temp. (the goal is a low simmer, anything more is overkill with the amount of time you’ll have.

Splash the cast iron (it doesn’t have to be cast iron – anything nonstickish with a lid that’s big enough for the whole shebang will be fine) with some oil. Once it’s hot, bloom spices until you can smell them, then add the meat. Sear on all sides, then remove. Repeat with all the protein. If you get too much of a crust on the bottom, just hit it with red wine and some silicone persuasion – the results go nicely into any of the other three pots you should have on the stove right now. Reduce the stocks an additional quarter after mixing them together.

Ideally, you’ll make it through this process with lovely brownness on the bottom of the pan. Quickly add more oil, bloom more spices, and clean the pan with the onions, garlic, celery, shallots and carrots.

I haven’t addressed beans at all. Hmm. Fresh would need soaking. Maybe canned is the answer? I hate kidney bean sludge tho. But I love kidney beans in chili. It’s not really chili without them. Maybe a different brand of can. Or….they’re already cooked….maybe I don’t have to tweak out every single aspect of this recipe. So kidneys and white northerns, in pretty much the same ratio as before, is the answer. I can live with that.

What to serve it with? I recommend cornbread or a half/half mixture of Israeli couscous and quinoa. Steamed white rice is never a bad move. On top of roasted mashed fingerlings would be lovely as well.

After cooking, I reread the recipe and see I forgot the shank, bought oxtails isntead, forgot the mirepoix, did the stock reduction to perfection and it was worth every second of bs. Only had two burners to reduce on, so i did it in two pots. Also, it's important to use one can light, one can dark, one can white northern beans, all the same size. still delicious.

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