Recipe: Dave’s Awesome Chili…

Dave's Awesome Chili
I’ve made a lot of Chili over the years and experimented with a lot of different types of Chili.  Personally, I like to change it up often and have made turkey chili, vegetarian chili, no-bean chili, etc. and have enjoyed them all.  But the Grandaddy of them all is Dave’s Awesome Chili (no, I did not name it myself).  I only make this one on special occasions and, typically, only upon request.  This Chili has graced several Super Bowl parties and one especially thankful Cub Scout Pot Luck Awards Dinner.  This recipe can be expensive, makes a LOT of chili and it is spicy.  There are things you can do to adjust the spiciness of it but….why would you?
Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound chorizo (pork or beef, but I prefer pork)
  • 1 pound chopped mock tender chuck steak (or any stew meat)
  • 1 beef Kilbasa (see below for alternate options)
  • 1 1 lb package bacon
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz can spicy chili beans
  • 5 10 oz cans Ro*tel tomatoes (if you want spicy chili pick 2 or 3 of the “extra hot” variety)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2-4 green chili peppers (or jalapenos)
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 can beer (your choice)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup Lee Kum Kee black bean garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce (your choice, I usually use two different kinds)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Dave's Awesome Chili

Process:

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat add roughly chopped, thick-cut bacon and cook until crisp. While bacon is cooking you can chop all the peppers, onions and celery. Remove bacon (leave the grease in the pot) and add chopped onions and celery. Add salt and pepper and cook until transparent and semi-browned then remove to a bowl.

Now add the ground chuck and chorizo to the pot and cook until nearly browned then add chopped chuck steak (chop into pieces small enough to handle in a bite but big enough to know you’re eating steak). I usually start adding the sauces and spices at this point and mix them in as the meat cooks.

Once the meat is browned and the sauces and spices are mixed in, toss in the cooked onions, chopped peppers and bacon.  Stir gently.

Drain the kidney beans and black beans and add those to the chili.  Stir gently.  Add the Chili Beans with spicy sauce.  Stir gently.  Add the Ro*Tel mix.  Stir gently.  Add the beer and chopped Kilbasa.  Stir.

Everything should be in at this point and you should have a nice soupy mix. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Stir every 20 minutes or so for 2 to 3 hours…the longer the better.

Dave's Awesome ChiliServe in small bowls with shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped scallions or jalapenos.

optional:

Lately, instead of using the Kilbasa in the chili, I’ve used sweet Italian sausage links.  Brown the sausage in a skillet or on the grill, just enough to get some color to the skin.  Then drop them, whole, into the chili and let them cook with the chili.  In the end, I usually fish them out and cut them in half…serving one piece in each bowl with the chili.  It makes for the most flavorful, tender Italian sausage you’ve ever had.

Also, I like to cook a little extra bacon to chop up and use as a topping.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with the usual toppings: cheese, sour cream, scallions, minced onion, chopped bacon, chopped jalapeno, etc.  I like to serve my chili with fresh tortillas (this IS Arizona).  I also like to serve mine with melon.  There is something really nice about the sweet, cool melon against the savory, spicy, steaming hot chili.  My recent find is Santa Claus Melon.  I can’t get enough of it and it pairs beautifully with the chili.  And don’t forget the beer…Lagers, Ambers and Pale Ales work great!

Chili

Manly Mac-n-Cheese…

My buddies and I have a long-standing tradition of getting together one night a week specifically to grill up some thick-cut steaks, drink and hang out.  It’s a way for us to break away from our busy schedules, limited budgets or restrictive diets and just have an awesome, perfectly-grilled steak with friends.  Originally, there were only a couple of us and I hosted Steak Night at my house.  Since then the attendance has grown.  Steak Night is now hosted at my friend Ian’s house and we all take turns buying the steaks.  We’ve also started to introduce side-dishes.

Side dishes are tricky when the focus is put so heavily on the steaks.  We started out with simple side dishes that could not compete with the amazing slabs of beef we would serve.  Then things got serious.

Our Steak Night Mac-N-Cheese Recipe has undergone it’s own storied evolution, but the final outcome has become a staple of Steak Night.  We’ve progressed from a simple mac-in-a-box side dish to something truly extraordinary.  Though it started as a joint venture, Ian gets full credit for coaxing this recipe through it’s evolutionary process and perfecting it.  It was adapted from a couple of different recipes we found online and modified to our tastes.  THIS is the kind of Mac-N-Cheese you tell your grand-kids about…

mac-n-cheese

 The Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb rotini macaroni
  • 3 cups milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves , rough chopped
  • 5 drops hot sauce (or more depending on preference)
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • course, ground pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs , beaten to blend
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (additional cup for topping)
  • 1 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 medium boneless chicken thighs, marinated and grilled (we marinate them in Italian Dressing)
  • 1 lb thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (should be enough to let you snack on some while cooking)
  • 2-5 medium jalapenos (chopped, diced or sliced…cook’s preference)

Directions:

  1. Boil macaroni in plenty of salted water until al dente. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. Grease a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small processor or blender, combine milk, cream cheese, mustard, garlic, hot sauce, eggs and salt.
  5. Pour drained pasta and milk/cream cheese mixture back into pot pasta was cooked in.  Allow to ‘sit’ in pot for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is an important step and must not be left out as it allows the sauce to start thickening and be absorbed by the pasta and not just settle in the bottom of the baking dish. 
  6. After 15 minutes, add various cheeses, jalapenos, grilled chicken, pepper and crumbled bacon and mix well altogether.
  7. Pour into prepared baking dish, cover with foil and place in preheated oven.
  8. Bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  9. Remove dish from oven, remove foil and add an additional cup of grated cheddar cheese to the top.
  10. Return dish to the oven (without foil) and broil until the top is melted and starting to brown.
  11. Remove from oven, recover with foil and give it about 15 minutes to cool enough to eat.

 

Wet ingredients in a blender

Wet ingredients in the blender...

 

Boiling the pasta

placing a wooden spoon over the pot will keep it from boiling over when cooking pasta...

 

cheeses, jalapenos, bacon and chicken

cheeses, jalapenos, bacon and chicken in mixing bowl...

 

adding pasta to the mixing bowl

pasta added to mixing bowl...

 

pouring mixed ingredients into making pan

Once all ingredients are mixed together, pour in to baking pan...

 

mac-n-cheese in baking pan

level out the mac so it will cook evenly, do not overfill the baking pan...

 

finished mac-n-cheese in baking pan

finished mac-n-cheese should have a crusty, cheesy, golden-brown top...