Monday, July 16, 2007

Cyclone! time for chili

In honor of the latest tornado watch for our region -- and, the actual cyclone warning for points NNE of here, around Iowa City -- and, because it's been so gosh-darned chilly these days (dropped all the way down to 56ยบ F. at night just a couple of nights ago), I'm posting one of the recipes for chili, from the Famous Chili Recipes from Marlboro Country cookbook I picked up at auction two weeks ago.

I had a variant on this served to me, some years back, and had been searching for the recipe ever since.

I thought I heard something -- like somebody's arteries hardening as you read the very first ingredient... It seems R. J. Reynolds can kill via more than simply blackening the lungs... but what a way to go!

When a blue norther was howlin' across the plains, a plate of Cyclone Chili tasted mighty fine to a cowboy. Green tomatoes and pieces of cactus, thrown in with the beef and peppers, sure helped chase the cold.

1/3 cup lard
4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup drained canned nopalitos (cactus pieces) or cooked green pepper strips
12 canned (or fresh) Serrano peppers, seeded and chopped, or 12 tiny green hot pickled peppers, seeded and chopped
1 10-ounce cans Mexican green tomatoes or 3 cups of cut-up, fresh tomatillos* (about 10)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
5 teaspoons crushed cumin seeds or ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat lard in Marlboro Chili Kettle; add meat, about 1 pound at ta time, removing after each pound is browned. After all four pounds are browned, put onions and garlic in kettle and cook until soft. Return all beef to kettle.

Rinse cactus pieces in cold water; drain and add to beef. Also add peppers, green tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer about 2 1/2 hours. Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.

*If using fresh tomatillos, increase beef stock or broth to 3 cups.

Okay, so this recipe may not have much of an attraction right now, if you're up here in the northern hemisphere, but if, perchance, you're in Buenos Aires or somewhere in South Africa, you may find this has its place in your menu this season.

Save me a bowl, will you? I'm getting mighty peckish.

Update: I see I have somehow missed the garlic in copying the recipe. It's 2 cloves crushed fresh. But I usually use about a teaspoon of the roasted variety.

No comments: