Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Friday, June 13, 2008

Have a cow, man.

So then I thought, blow it, if Mike can post a recipe I can post a recipe. The one Mike posted sounds quite nice though my taste in curries is for less sweetenss and creaminess than the recipe would seem to suggest (I like my vindaloos quite vinegary, for example). Perhaps before posting the recipe whose output I ate tonight I should post a link to my (so far) favourite source of wonderful curry recipes: Cooking Like Mummyji. I defy my readers to cook any of the dals (especially) in that book and not keep going back to them: it is no exaggeration to say that I have acquired at least half a dozen regular dishes from that book.

Anyway: this one isn't a dal, or even a curry. It comes from a newspaper clipping, from the Times to judge by its typography, which I remember as being from Superbowl weekend 10-15 years ago. It is, therefore, a chilli recipe. (I understand this is traditional Superbowl-watching fare.) The accompanying text (which I have not retained) was at pains to point out that most British people's experience of chilli was flawed in two ways: (1) they imagine it to be a dish full of kidney beans (2) they imagine it to be based on minced beef. Wrong, and wrong, said the article (by Alasdair Riley). if you want to add beans later that's up to you, but a real chilli just contains finely chopped (not minced) steak and spices, tomato, onion and beer. If that is what the tin says, this recipe delivers. I give you:

Mom Hensey's Sleepy Hollow Chilli
(serves 8)

3 lb stewing beef, cubed, trimmed and finely sliced
1 lb round beef, cubed and finely sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (I use a 700g jar of passata)
1 can Budweiser beer (I normally use part of a bottle of Budvar: one has some standards to maintain)
3 fresh green chillis, chopped
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
cooking oil

(Feel free to play around with the spicing. This time one of my fresh chillis was red -all I could get - and my chilli powder is quite hot, so I omitted the pepper. It should end up fairly spicy but not for issue to law enforcement personnel only.)

Brown the meat (not minced, but cubed) in your favourite chilli pot. (Cast iron casserole with close-fitting lid is mine.) Soften onion and garlic, add tomato sauce, beer and the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer very gently with the lid on for four hours, adding water (or beer) if necessary. The final thickness should be between a sauce and a stew. (Though if you want a more solid version, simply unlid the pan and give it another 30-60 minutes to reduce.) Check for taste and strength halfway through.

Serve with cornbread or corn chips, green salad and a Bud. We had ours with lettuce, sour cream, refried beans, salsa and pickled chillis (2 kinds) and corn tortillas. It really is a serves 8 - don't be tempted to increase the portion size, it's rich stuff: better to add side dishes, however hungry you are.

Once I'd tried this, my personal bar was raised thereafter for chilli everywhere, and I don't kid myself that it had much to do with my merely competent realisation: this is simply a great recipe.


At 16 June, 2008 17:04, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

And a cook too - oh Rob, you seem to do everything! (thanks for the recipe, have to try it)


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