By popular demand, here is the award winning chili recipe from the recent PDX Crock-Tober-Fest ’08… This chili won “Most Creative”, likely due to its choice of ingredients…
Note: I made this up as I went, so proportions are likely inaccurate, do yours to taste… Also, the choice of meat was based on the “Mysterious package of meat that my mother sent that no one wanted to use” at the back of the freezer.. (She raises organic cattle.. and with what i get from her comes a few, ahem, interesting packages…) You could probably use any meat like chicken, pork, or beef… nothing with its own spice like sausage, or you’re on your own taste-wise…
Tongues of Fury Chili
Start with one whole beef tongue (I told you…) Skin the tongue (which takes a little fortitude) and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. (This is actually a nice meat to use… once you get past the skinning process)
In a heavy pot, wilt 1 large chopped onion in oil (pinch of salt) until just clear, let it turn a little brown.
At the same time, heat 4 tbls oil in a wok with a few cloves of garlic to flavor the oil. Remove garlic before it burns, and turn up the heat as high as it will go. Let oil almost smoke, and throw in meat to saute. (Brown on the outside, but it doesn’t have to cook through – that will happen eventually)
Put browned meat into the heavy pot with the onions, stir, salt/pepper to taste for a few minutes.
Add 1 16oz. can of crushed tomatoes, and 4-6 tbls of Balsamic Vinegar, and 1 to 2 hot green chilis sliced, and let the whole thing simmer on low for 2 hours.
When the meat is falling apart, add a little bit of sugar, and check for taste, you can add a little parsley, basil and Salt/Pepper if you want it. I also added some roasted chili paste to provide some background flavor and lengthen the burn.
About 30 minutes before you want to serve it, throw in 3 big Parmagiano cheese rinds (you can get them at Zupans or Whole Foods etc) and a healthy sprig of Rosemary. This broadens the flavor a lot, and lends a rich character to the whole thing.
When serving, fish out the Rosemary and Cheese rinds (scrape the rinds and put the residue back in the pot, but hide the rinds… that can be our secret…
And if you go with the Tongue, maybe tell your guests first, so they don’t freak.