Sunday, 11 May 2008
Texan Red. A Homage: Part III
Part 3 – The Recipe
This is my personal favourite recipe, if you wanted a more authentic one - replace all the meat with beef and remove the porcinis.
For 4 (or today and tomorrow for 2)
1 onion (I prefer red)
4 cloves garlic
Oil (I prefer olive oil, others prefer a non-flavoured such as groundnut or walnut)
1 pound of meat (450g)
I currently use a 2:1 ratio of venison and pork
The better the cut of meat, the better the chili, but as you are cooking it for hours shoulder is fine.
Chiles (dried)– 3 anchos
- 3 guajillos
- 3 chipotles
1 or 2 others that may be floating around (e.g. pasilla, mulattos, cascabels or new Mexican reds)
50g porcini mushrooms – dried
half a tube of tomato paste (preferably sun-dried) about 40g
2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon salt (but add more to taste)
1 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon peppercorns (szechuan peppercorns are nice also)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chocolate
extra heat – cayenne pepper or I prefer grinding some piquin chiles
Juice 1 lime
Heavy-duty cookware – I use a Le Creuset skillet and cocotte pot (orange).
1. Boil some water and soak your porcini for 30mins.
2. Dry toast your cumin seeds (in a skillet) for about 1 minute then set aside.
3. cut the tops of your chiles and empty out the seeds. Dry toast them til aromatic but before they burn (20 – 30 seconds), they will smoke.
4. Soak the toasted chiles in boiled water for about 20 minutes.
5. dice your meat, either mince on the widest setting (chile grind) or dice to half-inch cubes (aim for half the size of your pinkie’s tip, or a small game dice).
6. fry your meat in batches in a skillet in the oil, when browned place in your pot.
7. grind your cumin, peppercorns. Add to the pot.
8. fry your diced onion till coloured in the skillet with some more oil, then add the garlic (diced or crushed). Add this to the pot.
N.B. You may want to deglaze the skillet with some chile liquor after frying both the meat and the onion. Add the deglazed goodness to the pot.
9. Drain your chiles (reserving the liquor), place in a blender with a little of the soaking liquor. Blend to a pulp. Add to pot.
10. Drain porcinis (reserve the liquor). Add to pot.
11. Add the Worcester sauce, salt, paprika, Mexican oregano, cinnamon, and tomato paste.
12. Cook this, covered, for 30 mins on the lowest possible heat.
13. At 30 mins taste it. It requires that long before you can accurately gauge the heat of the chili. At this point I usually add some chocolate I prefer to use this from Cacao Sampaka in Barcelona (very Mexican, and preferred to the brown sugar that others may add),
and extra heat - a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper or a ground teaspoon of piquins may be needed. You can also adjust the seasoning at this point.
14. Then uncover and cook for a further 90 minutes. You mat want to vary the cover-uncover times depending on how wet the chili is.
If at any point it looks to dry use either the chile or porcini liquor to dampen it.
15. With 30 minutes to go (that’s 90 minutes into cooking) I add the drained beans.
16. Then at the end of cooking (2 hours) I will add the juice of 1 lime and some coriander. These, along with the chocolate are my particular flair. As you find as you read there are a myriad of options at this late stage to elevate your chilli. I just feel these items please my palate the most. Please experiment.
17. You can now do the spoon test and eat. Maybe with some rice if you want carbs, or tortillas and guacamole for the fuller Mexican. Many use sour cream (the fat is useful in emulsifying the capsicum and tempering the heat). If I feel that way inclined, I prefer some cheese – Gruyere at present as it melts better than the more obvious American cheddar or Manchego.
Masa harina is a Mexican thickening agent along the lines of corn starch. Some add this at the end to thicken the liquid but if cooked correctly it should not be necessary. It has no intrinsic flavour so I never use it (plus the chocolate will do a little of the same).
Eat, drink, be merry…