Chilli Cheese Chips [Junk Food Friday]
Time to kick back, relax and set yourself up for a great weekend. I jest a little, but if you've not spent your 80/20 allowance, now is the time to do it ...
Prior to ancestral eating, one of our favourite Friday night junk food dinners was a big bag of Doritos, over which I'd dump chilli and a whole heap of grated cheese ... under the grill for a few minutes ... garnish with pickled chillies, tomato, cucumber and the like ... and eat.
Taking a play on the word chips, which is US for crisps, UK for chips ... UK chips are not chips, they're chips, as in chipped potatoes, your fries; your chips are our crisps ... because they're crisp. Got it?
I'm using chips (UK chips, that is). Yes, I could find some gluten-free tortilla crisps (chips) but I am not a fan of "gluten-free" per se, more, I'd rather find a real food alternative and if that is a potato, so be it.
"But our ancestors didn't eat potato ..." ... SHUT IT! It's my Chilli Cheese Chips and I'm going to do it my way.
I'm also using oxtail. Googling around, I find this already to be a Nevada classic. Bachi Burger restaurant in Las Vegas, apparently. They call it Chili Cheese Fries and go the extra mile, dumping a fried egg on top. Good call, but not necessary for tonight.
You know what? I absolutely love Guy Fieri's 'Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives' ... on a road trip across America, I would never go hungry.
It amazes me that (as an outsider) we view American eating habits as about as bad as you can get and consider it the yardstick against which neolithic diseases are measured, but stand back and look at the wonder of your country, all those little Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that you have which produce such a plethora of good, honest food.
So, it's not ideal, not paleo, not even by a long stretch, but it's good, honest food ... and you could do a whole lot worse.
This is an ode (yeah, "an ode", I'm British ... we do "odes" ...What? You don't have odes in your country? You should ... they're pretty cool) ... an ode to these wonderful DDD establishments that I see on my telly and will frequent if I ever troop over to that side of the pond.
So, ingredients ...
Meat - Oxtail, bay leaves and black pepper
Sauce - Onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, ground coriander, paprika, black pepper, celery salt and chillies
Chips - Potato and your favourite paleo fat
Cheese - Smoked cheddar
Salsa - Cucumber, tomato and olives
Bleary-eyed and working up the enthusiasm to go to work, grab an ovenproof dish, place the oxtails in over a few bay leaves and a little black pepper, top up with hot water and settle into the oven at 125C for the day.
Home in the evening, retrieve and remove the meat from the bones, shredding and sifting some of the larger pieces of fat off.
Keep the cooking liquid!
Make up a simple spicy tomato and mushroom sauce in a heavy based skillet with chopped onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, celery salt, black pepper, ground coriander and paprika, into which goes chopped onions and the shredded oxtail. Add in chillies to taste.
Now, over about an hour, keep just covering with the cooking liquor and refresh as it reduces. Using the cooking liquor will deepen the flavours and get the whole sauce really well cooked.
Dice up tomato cucumber and olives. Add some pickled chillies if you like.
Grate some cheese - I went with smoked cheddar.
Slice up potatoes into chips, fries or whatever you call them.
Par boil for a couple of minutes, retrieve, drain, pat dry and shallow fry in your favourite paleo fat - goose fat, for me. Beauty!
Chips down. Yeah, the chips are always down, eh?
Chips down, Oxtail Chilli over, cheese on top and sprinkle the salsa over.
Grab a beer and dig in, enjoying thoroughly!