WALT'S INSOLENT CHILI

This recipe makes a large crockpot of chili. It reflects my tastes in a good, hot chili, but it is easy to modify to your own taste. All measures are approximate, and can be varied readily.

Ingredients: Amounts
Stew beef--don't use good beef 2 lbs
Pork cutlets2 lbs
Chili powder2 oz. or more
Peeled Italian tomatoes
(Look for can with NO additives.)
One 32 oz. can.
Garlic3 cloves
Onions, Spanish or Vidalia 2 large
Hungarian Paprika1 tablespoon
Cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons
Dried red chili peppers
(use habañero chili peppers, if you're daring)
5 or 6 to taste
Red kidney beans (canned or dried) 2 cans or equivalent
Masa flour2 tbsp
Aged Vermont sharp cheddar cheese16 oz.

Cut up the beef, pork and onions, and braise them together in a frying pan over a hot flame. It will take several pansful, but keep the mix of all three ingredients with each pan. Add to the crock pot. Drain excess juice from the tomatoes and add to crock pot. Press or mince the garlic and add. Add chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Wearing rubber gloves (important, if you're using habañero chilis), break up the peppers into the crock pot. Do NOT remove the seeds, but remove stems, if present. Start to soak the beans if you are using dried beans. Stir the crockpot thoroughly, and let sit for NOT LESS than 14 hours on low heat. Stir periodically, but it's all right to sleep all night without stirring. At the 12 hour point, simmer the beans until tender (if you started with dried beans), drain them, and stir them in. The last thing to stir in is the masa flour.

Serve, topped with shredded Vermont cheddar to taste.

Variations

  • Quick gobble chili. For a quicker chili, don't switch to hamburg! Use ground turkey. Brown the turkey with the onion in a frying pan, put it in the slow cooker, and follow the steps above. It will develop a full, balanced flavor in about 4 hours of slow cooking. It's kinder on the calories and cholesterol, too.

  • Corn-Fed Chili. Put a package or two of frozen corn into the slow cooker in the last couple of hours. It's delicious!

  • Three Bean Chili. Instead of meat, start with at least three of the following dried beans: pinto, red kidney, red, black. When you initially soak them, add some chili powder, garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper to begin the flavoring.. Keep them overnight in a slow cooker. Test them after 8 hours to see if they are softened, but chewy. If ready, pour off the water and add the rest of the ingredients. Slow cook for at least four hours for thorough blending.