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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Home on the Range (Electric Range that is)

You don’t have to tell me there are lots of chili recipes and even more chili cooks.  I know the rules:  use only chunks of beef, cook the chili for hours, and don’t add beans, or onions.  Most of all, no tomatoes!   I say, take those rules and stuff ‘em where the steers don’t roam.

Sometimes, after a tough day of pilates and yoga classes, making cookies for the PTA, doing the laundry, and other testosterone reduction activities, I find myself wondering what’s for dinner?  Here’s the solution!  Strap on a manly apron, get the kitchen tidy, and know in your heart that quiche ain’t the correct answer and ain’t even on the same page as the correct answer.  Looking for something to help you get your swagger back!

It’s been a gut wrenching day and there’s no time left to tomahawk your own beef, rub sticks together for a wood fire, and tame that deep, hankering you have for the smooth, but fiery taste of the southwest’s gift to manly menus.  Have faith!  Lack of time doesn’t mean you can’t rustle up a noble substitute to smoky, hungry-dude, chuck wagon victuals.

First, grab yourself a brew that comes in a bottle, not some whimpy, thin aluminum container that changes colors to tell you when you beer is cold.  If you don’t know when your beer is cold, you shouldn’t be drinkin’ it! And, for goodness sakes, don’t pick a beer you’ve seen advertised on TV!  Time to puff up your chest!  Time to yell an obscenity or four, take a deep, deep swig, and move on to chili time!  If your wife is at home and objects, say the naughty-naughty words quietly, while smiling sweetly.  Then, forget this recipe and go whip up some quiche.  For the rest of you, let’s move on to some chili!

On to the Chili

2 lbs grass raised, natural ground beef  (If you want antibiotics and growth hormones, go hang with the med students.)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons chili powder
1  cup beef stock
2 dried chipotle chilies
1 can diced tomatoes, with garlic, onion, oregano, and whatnot, undrained
1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can pinto beans with jalapeños, undrained

Fry the hamburger in a stew pot, breaking it up as finely as possible.  When the pink is gone, add the garlic, onions, and chili powder.  Stir.  Cook for two minutes to let the flavors blend.  Remember, don’t drain any of the canned items.  Chop both cans of tomatoes in a blender until they’re in small chunks. Add them to the pot and mix well.  Now add the pinto beans, and then stir in the whole chipotles.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, careful not to let the chili boil dry.  If it gets too thick, add some more beef stock.

Serve with tortilla chips (if they’re not homemade, forget the chips), chopped raw onions, chopped cilantro, and chopped jalapeños.  Some people like to also add grated cheese.

Feeling more manly already, ain’t ya!  Time to open another bottle of brew, go into a back room and bellow like a steer who’s just found a new herd, and get ready for some chili!

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