Monday, January 17, 2011

Eastern Spicy Stew

Because I didn't have time today to write up anything very interesting, here's a recipe for what I was cooking.

Eastern Spicy Stew

This is a recipe I made up while trying to come up with a healthy recipe that was a pretty complete meal except for starch, which I could cook a lot of and freeze. I was trying to make chili based partly on a weird Eastern concept of chili I got from my mother from Philadelphia, and partly on vauge notions of Mexican cuisine. It ain't chili, but it's fairly popular with my friends. You will need a large stock pot for simmering it and a big frying pan for browning the meat.

2 lbs canned dark red kidney beans (2 16oz cans)
2 lbs canned pinto beans
2 lbs canned cans black beans
5 lbs canned diced tomatoes (2 28oz cans)
6 cubes chicken boullion
2 pounds ground venison, bison, or lean beef (in order of preference)
3 pounds chorizo, sliced or crumbled
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 yellow or orange bell peppers, diced
9 jalapeño peppers, sliced
2 spanish onions, diced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 pound frozen sweet corn
1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed/chopped
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Drain the beans and start them simmering with the tomatoes and the cubes of chicken boullion.
Stir every 15-20 minutes.
Now is a good time to slice the chorizo, peppers, and onions.

After 1-1/2 hours, brown the ground meat and add it, then brown the chorizo and add that.
Finish slicing the peppers and onions if you haven't.

After 2-1/2 hours (another hour), add the peppers and onions, bring it back to a simmer.
Peel the garlic and chop the cilantro.

After 3 hours (another half-hour), chop and add the garlic, cilantro, corn, cocoa, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir and taste; if it needs salt, add more boullion cubes. Stir every 10 minutes.

After 3-1/2 hours total, it's ready.

It's best when the cilantro is fresh, but it's still good frozen and microwaved; adding fresh cilantro would probably help. This recipe is not delicate in terms of quantites and proportions; if you double the amount of this and halve the amount of that it still turns out pretty well, at least when I've tried. This is what a restaurant out here in the East would call medium spicy; it would probably kill my mother outright but it's not challengingly spicy for anyone who puts jalapeño slices on other food.

Goes well with cornbread or over brown rice. Tortilla chips, a beer, and a sprinkling of cheese on the top are nice accompaniments.

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