5 Hour Wait

5 hours might as well be 5 days or even 5 years when you are waiting to partake of the savory stew that has been permeating every corner of the house with its mouth watering scent.

When I was a child, I remember my Mother making this stew on the coldest day of the year when all you wanted to do was wrap frigid hands around sturdy stoneware bowls containing the fragrant concoction.

Mom’s 5 hour stew was a masterpiece of simple ingredients, seasoned ever so slightly so as not to take away from individual flavors but rather make each one stand out even more flavorful.

Joanne’s 5 Hour Stew (Adapted for Crock Pot Preparation)

1 beef or venison roast cubed

1 can of good dark German beer

2 1/2 cups homemade beef stock

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 large onion diced

1 14oz can crushed tomatoes

6 carrots scraped and roughly chopped

4 medium potatoes roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley minced

4 stalks of celery with leaves chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tablespoons granular or thickening Tapioca

Brown all sides of the cubed meat in a frying pan. Place meat in crock pot. Pour beer into frying pan stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all of the meat bits. Allow beer to reduce down by 1/4. Pour into crock pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 5 hours. Switch to low and cook an additional hour if meat is not as tender as you prefer. Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas that have been thawed prior to serving, heat through.Serve immediately or wait until the next day when the flavors really start to come out.

If you choose to make it in your oven the cooking time is 5 hours at 350°

1001 Ways to Make Chili

FB_IMG_1509416495913       A recent conversation, or perhaps a friendly debate would be a more appropriate term, with a friend of mine involved the “correct” way to prepare the popular dish known as Chili, inspired this post. Delving deeper into the topic, I found out some interesting facts about a dish that has made its way to the top of the list of American comfort foods.

Notations dating back to the 1850’s mention bricks made of suet, dried beef, and chili peppers that were boiled in water on the trail as a staple in the southwest.

The 1892 Worlds Fair in Chicago included the San Antonio Chili Stand which served to further popularize the dish and in the 1970s Chili was made the official dish of Texas.

With all that history, the original recipe had to have gone through many many mutations depending upon the cook preparing it. These days Chili cook-offs are widely popular as people from all walks of life compete to prove that they have indeed come up with the perfect combination of ingredients to create an award-winning recipe.

Is there just one flawless way to prepare Chili? I think not, but just in case I am wrong, here is my “Perfect” Chili Recipe.

2lbs ground meat (I use venison)

1 large onion minced

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

2 Tablespoons taco seasoning

1 large jar of salsa

1 can 14 Oz stewed tomatoes

1 large can tomato sauce

2 cans chili beans in sauce

1 Tablespoon smoked pepper sauce (I use Hickey Bottom brand)

Chili powder to taste

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

Brown ground meat with onions and garlic. Add taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Simmer until water evaporates and meat is well coated in seasoning.

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer on med/low for one hour.

Serve topped with Fritos, sliced scallions, sour cream, shredded cheddar, or your choice of toppings. Enjoy!!