Game day gourmet


This chili is up … and it’s good!
The tech of tailgating has elevated the art of outdoor pre-gaming from its humble roots of charred franks slowly shriveling on charcoal to a nearly gourmet experience.

1011_gamedaygourmetToday’s tailgater packs an entire sports bar’s worth of equipment into the bed of his SUV, and it’s all thanks to some serious hardware upgrades in recent years.

Butane portable grills, car adapters, battery-powered blenders and 12-Volt fridge/freezers are just a few of the ways modern tailgating has been lifted from its dark ages.

So with football season in full swing, and with the mercury plummeting, we present this ultimate tailgating chili. You’ll need to outfit your tailgating party with a car adapter and a slow cooker to pull it off, but you’ll be the toast of the parking lot with one bite.

Beef Brisket and Pork Chipotle Chili
You could easily make this all brisket or all pork. If chicken is your thing, use boneless skinless thighs, cut down the cooking time to about one hour and omit the bacon.

½ lb. smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, medium chop
1-½ lbs. country-style pork spare ribs, cut into 1-1 ½ inch cubes
1-½ lbs. first cut beef brisket, cut into 1-1 ½ inch cubes
Ground cumin
Garlic powder
Smoked paprika
4 tbls. chipotle purée (see note below)
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tbls. chili powder
1 tbl. smoked paprika
2 tsps. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 cup beef broth
2 4-oz. cans fire-roasted diced green chilies
1 28-oz. can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
1 10-oz. bottle amber or dark beer
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped cilantro
Sour cream (optional)
Grated cheese (optional)
Crusty bread (not optional)

The day before game day:
Preheat oven to 350°F

Season beef and pork with about 1 tablespoon each of cumin, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Toss, making sure all pieces are covered and spice mixture distributed. Set aside.

Process chipotle puree, garlic cloves, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and beef broth in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

Sauté bacon in a large, heavy ovenproof pot over medium heat until it begins rendering fat and browns. Add onions and continue cooking until softened. Add beef and pork, stir to coat.

Pour purée over meat. Stir to combine. Add green chilies, tomatoes and beer. Bring chili to a simmer, cover and roast in oven for 2 hours. Uncover, add beans, Worcestershire sauce and cilantro. Continue roasting for another 1-1 ½ hours until the meat is tender. Cool then transfer to a storage container. Chill overnight.

Game day:
Transfer chili to slow cooker, cover and reheat on high for a couple of hours until heated through. Serve with crusty bread, sour cream and grated cheese. Essential tailgating equipment: Slow cooker, car adapter, insulated cooler.

Note: To make chipotle purée just process a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a food processor until smooth. The purée will keep a few weeks in the fridge thanks to the vinegar in the peppers.

Through thick and thin
Chili come out too thick? Dilute with chicken or beef broth. Did it come out too thin? Bulk it up with some tomato paste.