Recipe By Request
Looking back, I find it to be somewhat amazing the circumstances which have produced some of my best recipes and cooking experiences over the past fifteen years since I began cooking on something other than a charcoal grill and moved into my kitchen almost full time for good portions of the week each week.
After my ten year apprenticeship spent learning which end of the spoon and ladle to put in a boiler or pot, and the difference between the spices Nutmeg and Cumin, the past five years have found me cooking larger and larger quantities of food for ever increasing crowds of people in a variety of venues--most recently...
With the assistance of Pat and my good buddy Rusty I've done a killer Mexican menu for over thirty people at our 2006 celebration of "Sies de Mayo" (actually an unintended insult to the illegal immigrants' Cinco de Mayo national holiday because the fifth of May that year fell on Friday.)
I've almost single handedly done Christmas dinner for seventeen during a recent holiday season including main courses and appetizers like Oysters Rockefeller.
Then this past holiday season I handled the main Chef duties for my soon to be defunct former employer's company Christmas party including about 24 guests and featuring Chateau Brianne, pan seared Salmon, and my signature Chicken picatta over angle hair pasta.
Now, on April fools day, I find my head spinning as we continue to move forward into 2009 and, looking back across the month of March, I seem to vaguely recall figuring out how to cook Chili for something like what...a THOUSAND people?
In preparation I cooked half gallon quantities of Chili three times in February to fine tune the recipe, then on March 7th my team man -handled 10 gallons of beef stock, 5 gallons of chicken stock, 40 pounds of top round roast cut into 1/2" steaks, and THIRTY pounds of ground beef and when put it was all installed into a giant pot, embellished with a ton of spices, and well stirred with a boat paddle; the concoction yielded what ended up being about THIRTEEN GALLONS of "Peoples Choice" award winning chili.
I don't care if I ever see another bowl of Chili for about two more months now, but I want to publish the recipe before I forget it and as a warning if you don't care about how to make my Chili you can stop reading right now, because "Virgil's World Class Competition Chili" recipe ensues:
To do about a half gallon batch of my "World Class" Chili in your home kitchen...You'll need...
1-1/4 pound top round steak (about 1/2" thick)
1-1/4 pound ground beef or ground chuck
1 cup white wine
1 cup water
2 (14) oz cans beef stock
1 (14) oz cans chicken stock
1 (12) oz can tomato paste
2 (12) oz cans red beans (pureed in blender and reserved on the side until needed later)
Spice Blast #1
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp flaked onions
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp Wyler's Instant Beef Bouillon Granules
2 tsp Wyler's Instant Chicken Bouillon Granules
Spice Blast #2
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp white pepper
3 tbsp Goya Reciato (look for the green Cilantro sauce in the "ethnic food" isle at your local grocer)
Now...as to the process of making the Chili...
Toss your top round steak in a big boiler pot or dutch oven with the cup of wine and the cup of water.
Cook it covered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours over medium heat until it falls apart when you poke it with a fork..checking it often after about 75 minutes so you don't boil it dry.
Dump the cooked round steak out into a colander to drain, then break up your ground beef and render it in the same boiler/pot/dutch oven until it's cooked through.
Now dump it in a colander to drain (removing your round steak so you don't get it all greasy again.
Go through the round steak pulling out any "chewy" bits and break it up into 1/2" to 3/4" chunks or smaller so it will assimilate into the pot with the ground beef when the time comes.
Is your drained/degreased meat now sitting back in your boiler/pot/dutch oven?
Well then...put it back in there and set your burner heat on medium and dump in your beef and chicken stock.
Stir, stir, stir, stir...
Add the Tomato Paste.
Now...While you're standing around drinking some wine or a beer and bragging about your favorite NASCAR driver or the College basketball final four, dump your red beans into your blender or a food processor and grind those suckers up until they look like baby food.
Now hold them (the pureed beans) on the side until you see how things work out in the next couple of hours.
Once everything is starting to simmer nicely on the stove top, dump in what I call "Spice blast #1."
Don't get too close or you'll hurt yourself...
Stir, Stir, stir and turn the heat down a little and put the lid on the pot.
Now go watch Fox News or CNN while your eyes roll back in your head for fifteen minutes.
Stop by and check on your chili every fifteen minutes and make sure there isn't any unexpected flames coming out of your pot.
Got a fire extinguisher handy?
Back to reality, cook things slowly for somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour, then add "Spice Blast #2."
If things start to thicken too much you can always add some more beef stock or chicken stock or if you're really cheep..WATER.
Now I have to leave things up to you from here on out.
Cook my Chili recipe down as thick or thin as you like and you can dump any or all of the pureed red beans in at any time to thicken the whole pot out and to increase the volume of the mixture--I use the beans as a filler rather than a basic ingredient, but be prepared to stay on top of things for the last half hour of the cooking process lest you screw things up and have to start over again.
in the mean time...