The Roundtable
11:35 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Chili and Beer for the Big Game

    The Super Bowl is coming up next weekend and perhaps you are planning a gathering for the event. We though whether you are or are not, it would be helpful to call in an expert to help feed guests in a remarkable, comfortable and relaxing way.

A real-life cheese expert, Culinary Institute of America Associate Professor, John Fischer, joins us in studio this morning.

Fischer is the author of the book, Cheese: Identification, Classification, and Utilization. But, he is also an expert in beer, wine and even makes a mean batch of chili. Professor John Fischer joins us with an array of tastes to help plan for the Big Game.

John Fischer's 10 lb. (or so) Chili Recipe:

Dried Chile Peppers - These are available at Mexican grocery stores, and are fresher and cheaper there than online. While ‘fresh dried chile’ sounds oxymoronic, the peppers should still be flexible and have a nice aroma.

6 New Mexico chiles
6 Mulato chiles
4 Chipotle chiles, dried
3 Chipotle chiles in Adobo (canned), chopped
2 Tbs. Ancho Chile powder

A note on meat choice - There is nothing wrong with using ground meat. But using whole cuts gives you complete control over quality and fat content. I prefer chuck because its interior fat has flavor and adds richness to the chile. Hanger steak has a lot of flavor, and is an optional extra. And the ground pork adds some lovely pork fat, and by not browning it, adds a soft mouthfeel tof the chile

4# Chuck
1# Hanger Steak
1# Ground Pork

1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, medium dice (1/2”)
2 Spanish Onions, medium dice
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbs. Tomato Paste
1 Tbs. Ground Coriander
4 Tbs. Whole Cumin, toasted & ground in a spice grinder or coffee mill
4 Tbs. Mexican Oregano (also available at Mexican stores)
2 Bay leaves
3 Jalapeños, small dice (1/4”)
1 28 oz. can Crushed Plum Tomatoes
2 meh Beers
Water to cover
S & P to taste

Method:
Remember that this is somewhat labor-intensive, and easier recipes can be found all over the Internet. But, you’re making about ten pounds of chile, so it will feed a good-sized crowd, or last in the freezer for months.

1. Toast the dried chiles in a cast iron skillet until lightly charred and fragrant. This brings out a lot of flavor (like roasting coffee beans) but is optional
2. When the chiles have cooled, remove their stems, split open and remove the seeds. Place them all in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover them. Allow them to soak until reconstituted (i.e. softened). You can get on with following steps while they’re soaking, but the final step is to puree them in a food processor or blender with enough of their liquid so they will have the consistency of ketchup.
3. If using whole cuts of meat, cut it into a 1/4” dice. Brown the meat either in a skillet or in one layer under the broiler. If you broil it, let the top brown, then stir it around and put it back in so all the meat will brown. Also, use a sheet pan, not a cookie sheet, to keep the fat from dripping and setting fire to your kitchen. Set the browned meat aside. Do not brown the ground pork
4. Heat the oil in a stew pot or casserole large enough to hold the entire batch. Add onions and garlic, and sauté, until translucent.
5. Add tomato paste and stir to coat the onions and garlic. Add the ground pork, breaking it up. Stir and cook until it has lost all pinkness. Add the browned beef.
6. Add all spices and chile pepper puree, including canned Chipotles. Add diced Jalapeños.
7. Pour in the canned tomatoes and one of the beers. Don’t use dark or strongly-flavored beer, it adds too much flavor. I don’t know exactly what the beer does for the chile, but it works and is one of my secrets. Now drink the other beer.
8. If their isn’t enough liquid to just cover the meat, add some water. Add about a tablespoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper now, but wait until the end for final seasoning adjustment.
9. Bring to a boil and lower to a very low simmer. Cover and cook until the meat is tender, 2-4 hours. If the chili is too watery, raise the heat and allow some of the liquid to boil off. Taste and add salt and black pepper to taste.
10. I serve this chili over white rice, especially because I like to leave it more like a stew rather than cooking it down until thick. Garnish with your choice of fixins, but the usual suspects are chopped scallions, grated sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream and your favorite hot sauce.

Beans are not present in this recipe because they are not allowed in official chili competitions, or in Texas. Feel free to add some cooked beans an hour before it’s done (I like black beans), or serve some Mexican-style cooked beans as a side dish alongside.

You probably noticed that I said the beer is one of my secrets. I can’t tell you the other secrets because, remember, I’m with the CIA. - John Fischer

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Today’s Brewed Beverages
1. Cider, Farmhouse Select ‘Original ’91,’ Woodchuck, Vermont
2. Witte, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
3. Rare Vos, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
4. IPA, Lagunitas, Petaluma, CA
5. Gulden Draak, Brewery Van Steenberge, Meetjesland, Belgium

**We had to take down and re-post this content due to web error. There were comments on the previous posting that have thus been lost and we apologize.**

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