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March 2007 Issue
Their Favourite Foods - Setting recipes down for posterity
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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Just because Anthony reminded me that I have to get working on this, and because March is a great month for a bowl of hearty goodness, I’m reprinting my chili recipe. Enjoy!!!


Roxie's Chili

This makes a humungous pot and since it’s no old wives’ tale that chili is best the day after, there’ll be no problem dealing with leftovers!!!

The Meat (if you prefer, the meats can all be ground, but in our house, we believe in a chili you can sink your teeth into.)

  • 4 lbs chuck steak, cubed in about 1/2" pieces
  • 2 lbs lean pork, cubed
  • 2 lbs veal, cubed
The Vegetables
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 6 jalapeno peppers, chopped seeds and all
  • 2 chipotle peppers, chopped
  • 1 - 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 14 oz. can tomato puree
  • 3 – 19 oz. cans pinto (or kidney) beans
The Spices
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp basil
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp Mexican chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Chinese chili paste (it may not be authentically Mexican, but it’s my “secret” ingredient)
The Secret
  • 2 bottles cerveza (approximately)
In a large heavy pot -- I use an 18 liter cast aluminum stockpot -- brown your meat in small batches until nicely browned and set it aside. Then, in the same pot, sauté the onion, garlic and peppers till softened, add the diced tomatoes and tomato puree and simmer about 20 minutes. Return the meat to the pot and add enough of the beer to just cover everything. Add the spices, bring to a boil and gently simmer for 45 minutes or until the cubes of beef are tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking, add the beans and a bit more beer or water if necessary and simmer for about 30 minutes more. Taste again to adjust for seasoning -- at this point if I find it needs more spiciness, and this is entirely dependant on who I'm making it for, I add more chili paste or use Sambal Oelek and just allow it to heat through.

Serve with cornbread, soft tortillas and lots of sour cream and shredded cheese.


Well, that’s it for another month. I hope I’ve given you some “food for thought” and that you’ll be busily working away on your heirloom family recipe book over the blustery March days. Remember to drop us a line and let us know what favourites you’re memorializing.


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