Archive | July, 2013

Stampede Chili

10 Jul

Stampede time is chili time, and we’re always on the lookout for new recipes.

Here are two duelling dishes from the same outfit.


plus 2 cups tablespoons water

Salt and pepper

¾ teaspoon baking soda

dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces

ounce tortilla chip, crushed (¼ cup)

tablespoons ground cumin

tablespoon paprika

tablespoon garlic powder

tablespoon ground coriander

teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

(14.5-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

tablespoon vegetable oil

onion, chopped fine

garlic clove, minced

1—2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

(15-ounce) can pinto bean

teaspoons sugar

tablespoons cider vinegar

Lime wedges

Coarsely chopped cilantro

Chopped red onion

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Toss beef with 2 tablespoons water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and baking soda in bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place anchos in Dutch oven set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if anchos begin to smoke. Transfer to food processor and let cool.

Add tortilla chips, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, thyme, and 2 teaspoons pepper to food processor with anchos and process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl. Process tomatoes and their juice in now-empty workbowl until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring with wooden spoon to break meat up into 1/4-inch pieces, until beef is browned and fond begins to form on pot bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Add ancho mixture and chipotle; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add remaining 2 cups water, beans and their liquid, sugar, and tomato puree. Bring to boil, scraping bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is tender and chili is slightly thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Remove chili from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in any fat that has risen to top of chili, then add vinegar and season with salt to taste. Serve, passing lime wedges, cilantro, and chopped onion separately. (Chili can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

Cooks Illustrated, January 2011
Table salt
1/2 pound dried pinto beans (about 1 cup), rinsed and picked over

6 dried ancho chiles (about 1 3/4 ounces), stems and seeds removed, and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces
2-4 dried árbol chiles , stems removed, pods split, and seeds removed
3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium onions , cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 small jalapeño chiles , stems and seeds removed and discarded, and flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons light molasses
3 1/2 pounds blade steak , 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 (12-ounce) bottle mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser
Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 4 quarts water, and beans in large Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place ancho chiles in 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until flesh is fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if chiles begin to smoke. Transfer to bowl of food processor and cool. Do not wash out skillet.

Add árbol chiles, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and ½ teaspoon salt to food processor with toasted ancho chiles; process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, very slowly add ½ cup broth until smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer paste to small bowl. Place onions in now-empty processor bowl and pulse until roughly chopped, about four 1-second pulses. Add jalapeños and pulse until consistency of chunky salsa, about four 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste, tomatoes, and molasses; stir until chili paste is thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 cups broth and drained beans; bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Add half of beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Add ½ bottle lager to skillet, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Transfer lager to Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil, steak, and lager. Once last addition of lager has been added to Dutch oven, stir to combine and return mixture to simmer.

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat and beans are fully tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Let chili stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir well and season to taste with salt before serving.

For Pete’s Sake…

8 Jul


Thank goodness for cocktail parties and loose lips.

Family lore has it that the recipe for our city’s storied drive-in burger joint’s barbecue sauce was happily shared by a trusted source (Gus or Barbara Pieters themselves?) after our mother asked for it at a cocktail party decades ago

This simple burger combo is summer personified: the crunch of diced white onion, puckery dill pickle, and yellow mustard provide a great foil for this sweet barbecue sauce used as a rich bath for stacks of beefy patties.

And their daily-made barbecue sauce is applied liberally, as per this messy picture:peters 2peters

1/2 cup ketchup
1 to 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
Boil the sauce, add cooked hamburgers and simmer.

Behold a rival recipe from Blake:


1 cup ketchup

1 cup water

1 chopped onion

4 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

8-12 hamburger patties (barbecued)

Mix all ingredients in large oven pan (e.g. turkey roaster). Barbecue hamburgers and mix into sauce. Bake at 300F for 2 hours (or put into Crock Pot and heat).  Great made a day ahead and reheated, especially for backyard picnics.

NB:  Don’t disclose recipe to even your closest friends. (Something along the lines of “If I tell you, I’d have to kill you.”.)