Super Bowl Chili
It’s been awhile hasn’t it? I apparently went on hiatus. Inadvertent hiatus I guess. In a way. I had a Thanksgiving posting prepared and then that slipped away. Then Christmas/Chanukah slipped away. Then New Year’s Day slipped away. Then Terry Hoffman’s dinner slipped away. Then Super Bowl slipped away. Now it’s Valentine’s day. No more slipping away. Hiatus is over. I’m back.
For the moment I will let the recipes from holidays and gatherings and kitchen experiments go by the wayside, and instead of backtracking four months I’ll start with Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday party started with an email from our friend Suzanne who said something along the lines of “if you’re having a Super Bowl party, we are inviting ourselves.” I thought I would ignore it because I had absolutely NO intention of having a Super Bowl party. I wasn’t going to watch it. I wasn’t going to cook for people watching it.
I had way too much on my plate between multiple extended family commitments, obligations, problems and extreme work drama and although I bear up well under multiple pressures, I honestly just couldn’t deal with one more thing. So Suzanne’s email sat there in my in-box day after day and she is a dear friend and it was just rude to ignore her, and I knew Alan would enjoy having people over, so I finally answered with a simple ‘ok’ figuring that my lack of enthusiasm would send her looking for another Super Bowl party or, if that didn’t happen, that Alan would order pizza and I would not be involved – at all – in any way. Not quite.
Suzanne was undeterred and kind of relentless. First she wanted to know how many people were coming (there wasn’t anyone coming because we weren’t having a party). I ignored this email. Then she wanted to know WHO was coming. Again, ignored. Then she wanted to know what she could bring. I was SO annoyed and I ignored that one too. This time I asked Alan to handle it. I have no idea what he said to Suzanne, but to me he said not to worry about anything so I didn’t.
But then it was upon us – the Super Bowl was just days away and now there were seven or eight people coming over…. Suzanne, husband, Gary, Barry, Mary (nice rhyming eh?) Joe – totaling seven or eight. How could I NOT cook and when I asked Alan he didn’t seem to have any idea other than he didn’t want to worry. But I did. I worried and I knew I would cook. But what? I wanted something that I could make in advance and that would be hearty, filling, delicious. Chili? Hmmm….. I had really good chili one time at Marmalade on Montana when I was a meat-eater. They used filet mignon. Oh. It was delicious. I wanted something like that. I started reading about chili.
I found all the recipes that included ingredients I wanted to cook with and then I did cut and past and I came up with something that I thought would work. And then I made it. I tasted it. It was really good. Add in a Wild Arugula salad and bowl of hot-house berries, lots of ice cream and thin cookies. Suzanne brought a cheese platter. Joe and Mary brought Buffalo wings and cornbread to eat with the chili.
A party was born.
Sadly, the night before Super Bowl Sunday, my Mother fell in her dining room and shattered her elbow and she was in the hospital that night with blood pouring out of her arm from where the bone went through the skin and Sunday – Super Bowl Sunday – was the surgery and so it turned out that even though I had twisted my mind to come around to the party and I did look forward to seeing friends (the game…. Well….. whatever) the Universe had something else in mind for me that day. At least I fed the friends and I got good feedback on the Chili and lots of sympathy for having to leave (it was really my mom who deserved the sympathy but I took it). . ..
Super Bowl Chili
A very hearty, dark, delicious meal in a bowl. This is a combination of several recipes therefore, no particular attribution.
2 Tbsp olive oil (or other oil)
4 -5 pounds meat. I used Chuck but Sirloin, Filet Mignon, Ground beef, whatever you want. I had the nice Butcher cut the meat for me into ½” dice. If you do it yourself, you might want to put the meat in the freezer for a bit. It’s easier to cube semi-frozen beef than refrigerated or room-temperature beef. Make sure the dice is pretty small otherwise you end up with huge chunks of beef. Yuck.
3 large onions diced smallish
6 cups homemade stock – I used vegetable but chicken or beef or canned whatever would be fine as well.
2 bottles of dark beer – (I used Fat Tire which was recommended in a recipe and it was perfect)
2 large cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes or just regular diced tomatoes in a can with their juices.
3 Tbsp of tomato paste.
1 can tomato sauce.
2 Tbsp chili paste or chili sauce
2 cups coffee (left over from the morning is great)
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup brown sugar packed
¾ cup New Mexico Chili (this is a mild chili but you can use whatever chili powder you want just take into consideration the heat)
3 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
3 tsp coriander
Beans (I soaked and cooked dried kidney beans and then used a few cups of the cooked beans and I used a large can of Cannellini beans and a large can of pinto beans but use more or less as you wish). This is a very flexible recipe
10 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick circles (you can omit this if you think it’s weird).
Kosher salt to taste
Condiments on the side
Shredded cheddar cheese (white, not orange please)
Chopped green onions
In advance, a day or two, put the olive oil into the Big Pot and in small batches brown the meat on all sides and set aside. This is time consuming so have some music on or a friend to talk to or the TV on. An episode of Orange is the New Black or Luther or GOT is appropriate.
When the meat is all done remove it to a bowl and in the same Big Pot, brown the onions. When the onions are brown and translucent but NOT mushy add back in the meat and the stock and the beer and cook for an hour.
After that, add the following: canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili sauce, coffee, cocoa powder, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, oregano and Cook for another hour. After about 30 minutes, add the carrots.
Check for consistency. If too thin, then cook with the top off and boil it down until it’s thick. If too thick, add water.
About 20 minutes before the chili is done start adding in beans. Don’t add too many but not too few either. Find the perfect amount.
Check for taste. Add salt if necessary.
Serve with condiments on the side including:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions