25/05/2012

Texas 'Bowl of Red'

I am led to believe that I might be tarred, feathered and run out of the State if I even thought about putting beans or ground meat into a Chili in the State of Texas.

Best get some practice in ...

The 'Bowl of Red' is aptly named. I have read a bewildering array of recipes, multiple spice dumps, all manner of exotic ingredients, but in the end ... this is a bowl of Chili and should be made simply, respecting the ingredients therein.

To work ...

I began by browning off some beef and some pork in a heavy lidded pan. I used some beef dripping here, but coconut oil, tallow or lard would do perfectly well.

Meanwhile, I blended a couple of small onions with a good few garlic cloves, some ginger and a few green chillies. This blend is not far off a green curry paste, and a paste which I happily use in 'Beef Soup' (or Chilli Con Carne to the rest of us), curry and many other spiced food dishes.

Why? Well, it just seems to work well. The paste adds to the richness and texture of the dish without imparting its own characteristics - flavour for the simple reason that it works.

Pour in the paste and brown off for a short while before pouring in a carton of chopped tomatoes, a good squirt of tomato puree and some beef stock.

Sprinkle a good quantity of dried oregano over, fresh is better, some ground black pepper, cayenne pepper and a good tablespoon or more of paprika - this will give is a serious red colour, the rest a heady scent and a good kick! Cumin is popular, but not so popular with my Mrs.

Get some heat under it, lid on and cook through for a couple of hours, topping up with hot water as necessary.

What goes well with red? Green!

Some time before you want to eat (and this can be eaten hot or cold, so timing is really not important), steam some cauliflower florets and mash into a soft avocado - think of this as a kind of green rice.

Ready to eat? Serve out a generous spoonful of red alongside a spoon of green. Garnish, if you're fancy, with some chopped chives.

Dig in!

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