Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A-Team Chili:

Winter in Cincinnati means different things to many people. To David, it means that he’s in for another season of fighting with his rear wheel drive Mustang in the snow. To my Dad, it’s time to break out the jeep, attach the snowplow and help out some grateful neighbors.

Me, I have a thing against winter. I suppose it really isn’t Winter’s fault that I’m short and my jean hems drag the salty, mucky ground, or that I spend most of season glaring out the window at the frigid air, wearing my winter coat indoors to be comfortable. Winter is what it is and doesn’t care what nobody thinks. I still don’t like it. I want my flip flops back.

To recap: winter to me means that I wreck my jeans and my winter coat gets a workout. I also eat chili and soup. A lot. Probably while wearing my coat inside. Potentially glaring out the window at the frigid air.

David was making a nice tomato soup for me for awhile, but sometimes tomato soup doesn’t cut it for lunch. Resolving to eat out less and cook at home more and eager to continue using our Le Creuset French oven, we decided to make our own chili.

I spent Saturday morning scouring recipes on the internet to find a good chili recipe. I found some solid recipes. Nothing was wrong with them, except I wanted our first batch of homemade chili to be a little less conventional.

I began to think of unusual, tasty things to put in the Chili and drawing up a list. Dark beer! Chipotle peppers! Ground bison! Camel meat!

“You know…” David remarked from the futon, doing his own chili research. “Making a chili is not like assembling the A-Team.”

“Whatever. Garbonzo beans!”


“Fine, well I still want the camel and bison meat in it. It will be delicious, you’ll see.”

Camel is a very interesting meat. It is very lean and red, and smells delicious when you are browning it. Don’t feel bad for the camel, camels are not very nice animals. They have cranky, sour dispositions. I would be too if I always had sand stuck between my toes.

it is important to sort dried beans. Seriously. David found two pebbles. Dental work is expensive.

Camel, one of the tastiest Jerks of the animal kingdom

The chili came out very nicely for our first try. We are now on our 4th batch. We’ve been messing around with the meats and the spices. I firmly believe that we will stumble across the perfect chili by the time winter is over.

we finish with a roux to thicken the chili


  1. This is giving me inspiration for whipping up a batch of chili this weekend. Look so good!

  2. Kudos on trying the camel! Chili is a good application for such a lean meat. I don't know why Kroeger sells it in sausage form, it's too lean for that. I'm thinking about using it the next time I make kheema.

  3. That sounds tasty, however you don't need the addition of a roux to thicken chili. Just smash about 10% of the beans against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon. This will release the natural starches in the beans and serve to thicken the chili.

  4. The image of David sorting through individual beans for small pebbles guarantees that this site will remain on my blogroll for the next six eons. Chili looks great too.

  5. Awww, thanks Jeff! I know you're not a big fan of chili. We will make chowder soon, I promise.

    Todd, that makes sense and is probably easier...but we're big fans of adding more fat back into the chili. We use olive oil, so it's not that bad...right..?


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