Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Texas Roadkill Chili!

So you want to be a Texan! Well, get out the skinnin' knife and a big pot, you're going to need them both. All Texans are born with a recipe for chili imprinted in their DNA.

1 lb. of roadkill meat - I leave the choice of mystery meat, skinning and gutting to you, but it's best to do it under the cover of darkness, depending on the roadkill. This mystery meat can be venison (especially abundant in the Texas Hill Country), possum, buzzard (although rare), dog, cat, skunk, snake, mule lips, armadillo - whatever presents itself. Just drive around these Texas highways with a spotter in the passenger seat to find your mystery meat. This may also be ground beef.

1 large Vidallia onion - of course, any onion will do.

1 clove garlic

2-4 drops of Liquid Smoke 

1 TBSP oregano 

1 TBSP crushed red pepper - the fresher the better

3 hot peppers of your choice - fresh serrano chile peppers is my choice (whatever you like best, I start with 2 and go up from there).

1 TBSP cumin 

2 TBSP chili powder (freshly ground is best) 

1 can tomato sauce

2 longneck beers - I prefer Shiner, but you may choose anything that is available, sipped and added as necessary

All measurements are variable. It is like when your mom says, "Just add a little of this and a little of that and taste it." Cumin and chili powder and seasonings should be adjusted as the chili cooks - don't dump it all in at once. Keep a cold beer with you at all times and share with the chili pot during the cooking process.

The secret to good chili is practice and the art of adjusting your seasonings as you cook the chili. Always remember to make small adjustments and you can always add more; add too much and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to recover the proper taste! 

1. To start Chili, you must brown the meat of your choice in a skillet. Cut the strips small, you want it to "fall apart" after all.

2. Add chopped onion, chopped peppers (green and hot), minced garlic, crushed red pepper, cumin, oregano, and chili powder.

3. Liquid smoke is added next, Be very careful to use only two to four drops; this can overpower your chili. 

4. Sauté ingredients, cook until onions and peppers become clear. 

5. Add tomato sauce to a consistency of soup but not too thin. It is always better to add a smaller amount and if the chili thickens too soon you can always add more beer. If you get too much beer inthe mix, just add Masa Harina if you have any on hand. This is a Mexican corn flour that is used to make corn tortillas. Some recipes call for Masa Harina to add flavor to the chili. I have used it and it adds a unique flavor to the chili.

6. Let it simmer for at least two hours. No beans are allowed.This is not Yankee chili, for God's sake. If the mix becomes too thick, add more beer. I find that one sip calls for one splash into the pot.

Mmmmm … Texas Roadkill Chili. And never, never, try to make chili from leftover meatloaf. Of course, Stomps With Foot makes all the chili at our casa - and this is all made up.