A Bowl of Red Chili

“A Bowl of Red” Chili
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Cook time
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Guy, Get Your Grill On - Recipes for chili are about as numerous as cold remedies, tales of woe & mac vs. pc arguments. No matter which list of ingredients, no matter how long you simmer it, you’re doing it wrong. So, I say, sit down and contemplate why you enjoy chili and base your recipe against that. And this is how I came up with Meathenge’s California Style, “A Bowl of Red.”

What about Chili makes me weak in the knees? Offers up a craving that nothing else will replace? Chile peppers, that’s what. Whole, dried, chile peppers. Everything else is only to support the chile pepper flavors. No cans of corn, no whole sticks of cinnamon, no cans of beans, nuttin’ like that.
Serves: 8 servings
  • Flap Meat, 2.5 to 3 pounds
  • White Onion, 3 medium
  • Garlic, 1 head crushed
  • Cumin Seeds, 2 tablespoons toasted then powdered
  • Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Oregano, 2 tablespoons
  • Tomatoes, 30 oz Sauced or Crushed + several handfuls of garden maters
  • Broth, 15 oz Chicken
  • Chipotle, 4 chiles from can sliced
  • New Mexican Red Chiles, 6 or 7 medium sized
  • Pasilla, 3
  • Guajillo, ended up not using
  • Chile Powder, keep on hand in case you need it towards end to adjust
  1. Dried chile peppers should have the texture of supple leather, not all cracky. Slit open chiles and remove seeds, veins. Do not do this under water, I believe it removes some flavors, I’m picky that way. Besides, you want to heat them a bit in a dry cast-iron skillet.
  2. Slice up into pieces and install into electric whizzer of some kind and get as small as you can. I had to add some extra virgin and got them pretty small. The skins won’t cook down and they are not digestible (you figure that one out on your own). Next up, the other ingredient.
  3. My new favorite cut of beef meat is Flap Meat from the sirloin area of the cow animal. Not only can you quickly pan sear it, you can cook it slowly and it’ll come just as tender. Slice across the grain to less than bite sized pieces.
  4. At this point I had my meez all out in front of me and the large stock pot heating up with oil. Getting ready to brown all the ingredients, I was. “Man, I ain’t got time to brown all this crap! And besides, I want my meat all tender and juicy. Brown, shmrown.” Every last ingredient went in to the pot all at once, plop!
  5. Simmer for a few hours and adjust with the powdered chile stuff. I think I ended up using a few tablespoons. Remember, if you don’t like that much tomato sauce, use half what I did. I don’t care, I do what I like. And here’s what I got!
  6. It’s full of rich chile flavors and the meat melts in your mouth. The heat shows up slowly, then comes to stay for a bit. My scalp ever so gently sweats with its love. This, my good people, is a great Bowl of Red.
The ingredients and amounts are not gospel. Adjust to your taste at every corner, I did.

As good as it was, it would have been better with a properly prepared base. I found a handful of pepper skins that were dime size and had to be expelled, flick! To get yourself a nice base, heat up a large pot of water to boiling. While it’s coming to temp, prepare 20+ New Mexican Red chile peppers and a mixture of others if you like. Once the water is boiling, turn off and toss in peppers, cover for about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove peppers and save liquor. Install peppers in to large electric whizzer or do in stages. Add 6 cloves of garlic and a few teaspoons of cumin powder and combine. Add pepper liquor to the party until it’s a nice sauce consistency. Simmer for 20 minutes and add a tad of sugar until it tastes right, maybe a teaspoonful. If your whizzer ain’t a badass, you may want to strain the sauce before you cook it. This base should be made a day or two in advance, can be saved for a week or two. At that point, it can be used for nearly anything. Marinade, gravy, pour over tamals or base for chili!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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