Monday, December 27, 2010

A Warm Bowl of Chili From Zac Brown on a Cold Day

Zac Brown's own homemade "Campfire Chili" recipe will keep you warm on a cold day. Zac tells 
When I was growing up, my dad and I would go hunting and camping every weekend. Like everyone in my family, he is an amazing cook, and I’ve tried to learn a lot from all of them. But I don’t like cooking just for myself; I enjoy feeding other people, particularly outdoors. There’s something so comforting about eating outside, especially when there’s nice fall weather, like now. I have an outdoor kitchen at home in Georgia, and I try to never eat inside. 

This recipe is an amalgam of all the chilies I’ve had over the past 10 years. Putting it together is a big, rich labor of love. I’ve made it many times in one pot over a campfire, first cooking all the meats down, then pouring off the fat before everything else goes in to simmer. I imagine having a bowl while sitting by a blaze, a Kristofferson song playing out on crisp Black Diamond Strings while the crickets chime in. Later, frogs will do a cover of the Oak Ridge Boys as cedar logs crackle in the fire. That’s when the world feels right.

Campfire Chili
1. Brown together: 
1 cup diced white onion 
1 lb. beef-tenderloin tips, diced into 1/2-inch cubes 
2 lbs. ground bison (If unavailable, substitute ground beef.) 
1/2 lb. ground pork 
1 Tbsp olive oil 

2. Drain the grease. Then add the following: 
1 Tbsp masa flour 
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder 
14.5-oz. can organic beef stock 
14.5-oz. cans organic chicken stock 
8-oz. can organic tomato sauce 
4-oz. can mild diced green chilies 
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin 
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, 
chopped fine 
1 tsp black pepper 
3 Tbsp organic chili powder 

3. Simmer 1 hour. Then add: 
4 oz. organic tomato sauce 
4 Tbsp organic chili powder 
2 Tbsp mild chili powder 
2 Tbsp ground cumin 
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp Tabasco 
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar 
15.5-oz. cans low-sodium pinto beans, drained 
15.5-oz. cans low-sodium kidney beans, drained 

4. Simmer 45 minutes and eat.

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