Friday, November 19, 2010

Chili Colorado and Palo Santo Marron

First a short note about a beer.

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron; Looking at my tasting notes, I gave this beer 4 out of 5 stars. I described it as hot, brown and interesting, oddly the opposite of how I describe myself. The hot is for alcohol, 12%. It has a full mouthfeel and a roasty, woody tang. It is an excellent cigar beer and would probably go well with Chili Colorado (read on).

Chili Colorado

Last night I made Chili Colorado and Pinto Beans. And this is how you do it;

For the Chili;

4 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder
10 Dried New Mexico Chili Pods
10 Dried California Chili Pods
5 Dried Ancho Chili Pods
16oz. Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 T Coriander Seeds
1 T Cumin Seeds

For the Beans;

1 lb Pinto Beans
1 Small Onion cut into Big Boy Chunks

I started by stemming and seeding my chili pods. Then I toasted them in a single layer in a dry cast iron skillet until I could smell them getting toasty. I covered them with water in a saucepan and brought them to a boil, removed them from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes.

I toasted the coriander and cumin over medium heat in a cast iron skillet until the coriander began to pop like popcorn.

The spices went into the mortar and pestle for a beating. I ended up with as fine a powder as I can get with it. Then I cut the pork into nice big cubes and seasoned liberally with salt.

And browned them over medium high heat in batches so they could have some elbow room while they were browning. If you crowd the pan, the meat tends to boil in it's juices. I set the browned meat in a bowl to capture those pork juices.

I then buzzed the chilies in the blender with just enough of the soaking liquid to create a thick paste. I combined the pork, chili paste, spices, tomatoes, salt and enough water that it wouldn't cook dry over night in my Crock Pot brand slow cooker.

For the beans I brought the (picked over for dirt clods) beans to a boil in a large saucepan. I use enough water to fill my other Crock Pot brand slow cooker with the beans and the chooped onion. I poured the beans and water into the cooker and added the chopped onion. The salt does not get added at this time as the beans will never soften up. Acid has the same effect. I season them at the end of the cooking period.

I tried them this morning with some of the chili on top and I must say, deeeelicious!


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