Dean's Original Roadmeat Chili

r.w.dean By r.w.dean, 17th Feb 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

This is an old recipe that will work just fine, especially if not followed too literally.

Dean's Original Roadmeat Chili

Dean’s Original Roadmeat Chili
r.w.dean

This is a fine recipe, and if you follow the directions pretty close, you’re not likely to have much trouble. I’ve been making this chili for quite a few years now, and no more than a handful of folks have come down with anything that didn’t pass in a day or two, a week at the outside.

First thing you need is a pot. I like to use one made of cast iron, or at the least, one of those big stock pots that has a bottom on it made of two or three layers of different metal. Then you need a wooden spoon, the long-handled kind because properly made chili will take the bottom couple of inches for the recipe.

Next, you need to get some meat. It doesn’t much matter what kind of meat it is, but it ought not to be too stiff, and it should look pretty much like it did when it was walking, crawling, or flying, or whatever. Also, this is not a task to be taken on in the heat of the summer. Depending on the location, late Fall to early Spring is best for finding something you can use. Next you need to separate the meat parts from the skin and bones parts. This is a good deal easier if, as I said up above, it still looks good enough for its mama to recognize it. If the bones are pretty big, you might consider throwing them in while the meat is cooking, just for flavor, but you’ll need to take them out before you add the rest of the stuff. If the meat had feathers before it went into the pot, keep the bones out or some poor fool will end up choking on one of them and spoil the party. You can decide whether or not to toss away the hide depending on its condition as well, but you should take into account that, if it’s in good shape, you might be able to make use of it. Hats with animal faces on them sell pretty quick at swap meets.

I should say a few things about meat here. Animals tend pick up the flavor of what they eat. Those that eat plants and grass and such, are generally easier on the taste buds, providing they haven’t been chowing down in the wild horseradish. Animals that eat other animals also pick up the taste of what they eat and that includes the sweaty parts, and the backside parts, and so on. I don’t think I need to say much about skunks.

Now that you’ve got all that meat separated, set it aside for a bit, another half hour in the sun isn’t going to amount to a hill of beans in its condition. Get the pot pretty hot and throw in some oil. I use olive oil but lard works just a good and it’s cheaper. You’ll need about enough to cover the bottom of the pot by an eighth of an inch or so. Now chop up some onions so the bits are about the size of a bean. You’ll need at least two or three good sized onions but your eyes will tell you when you’ve chopped enough. Take about four nice garlic cloves and toss them in. Don’t bother to chop them, just smush them with the knife blade real good. When the onions and garlic are starting to look cooked; you really need to know what that looks like, and trial and error is the only way to learn, then toss in the meat. If you’ve done everything right, you should have enough meat to fill the pot about one third of the way up. Any more, and it won’t cook the way it needs to. Any less and, well, don’t invite too many folks to the party . You’ll need to stand over that pot, stirring the meat with a big wooden spoon every few minutes or so, until it gets good and brown, and a little crispy-like around the edges (if it was already brown, just give it a half hour or so).

Now it’s time to add some more stuff. You can cut corners and use a chili mix if that’s what you want to do, but they’re all salty and full of stuff that isn’t good for a soul. I tend to add my own combination of just what I think needs to be in chili, and nothing else. First you need some liquid. I like beer; one of the better American beers is best, but stay away from the fancy micro brews. They have either too much malt, or too much hops, and Bud, Miller, and Coors don’t have enough of anything. You can also use whiskey, but if you’re going to cook over an open fire, take the pot to a safe distance before you pour in the liquor or you’ll be needing a new shirt and some ointment for your face.

The rest of the ingredients are as follows:
Oh, and I don’t really measure things very well, I just kind of pour them into my hand. A
table spoon fills about a third of the palm of my hand.
Oregano – Mexican if you have it, about ½ handful
Cumin – ground, about 2/3 of a handful (you can add more later to taste if necessary)
Salt – This is tough, there’s some salt in the meat, the grease, and the beer, so I start with about 1/3 of a handful.
Black pepper – fresh ground, twist til it feels right, I don’t think you can use too much
Tomatoes – I use two large cans of those peeled and chopped kind with the sauce in it.
Dried chilies – I like to soak these while I’m doing everything else and then scrape the meat away from the skins, but you can just throw in about four or five of the whole, long, red dried chilies, and worry about the skins later.
Thyme – I use the dried stuff, about 1/3 handful.
Half a stick of butter (or real good margarine)
Cinnamon – two sticks should do it, you’ll need to dig these out later.
Bay leaf – two or three, depending on size

About this time, you should have the pot bubbling pretty nice, and all the ingredients stirred in well. The liquid should cover everything completely, if not add some water.
Here’s where you have to decide about the beans. I know there’s some that will tell you that real chili doesn’t have any beans in it, and if you’ve put in enough meat to make a pot full that’s fine. I generally always throw in some beans because it rounds out the flavor, makes the chili go a bit farther, and it gives you something to remember the chili by for a couple days longer, not to mention the conversation around the fire later that night.

If you want to go to the trouble of using dried beans, you need to start the night before. First, soak the beans for an hour or so. It washes off the dust and makes the stones easier to pick out. Nothing puts a chili eater off worse than breaking a tooth on a well-seasoned pebble that was supposed to be a bean. Then soak them with fresh water over night. Next day, boil the beans in more fresh water for a couple of hours before you can add them to the chili. Or, you can open a couple large cans of already cooked beans, pour off the juice, then rinse once, and dump them into the chili. I like pinto beans, but it makes no matter at all. Well, limas or string beans are probably a bad choice. That’s the road I normally pick anyway. When you add the beans, you’ll probably have to add some liquid. This is a great place to throw in some good Mexican beer, I like Tecate. Two cans should do it, that leaves four for you to drink.

Now, you need to start tasting the mix to see if it’s what you meant it to be. Take a taste of beer, then a spoonful of chili. Rub it around in your mouth so all your taste buds get an equal go at it. Think about it for a minute or two and, unless it was terrible, do it again. Sometimes chili needs a second chance to make friends with your mouth. You’ll want to be careful adding extra ingredients because you can’t take them out once they’re in. As far as cooking time goes, I’ve always felt that proper chili should be cooked long enough so you have to add more beer twice. Don’t burn the beans.

Once you’ve satisfied yourself that you won’t be embarrassed by this chili, it’s time to invite a few friends over and have a party. I’ve found that it’s best not to talk too much about what went into the pot until everyone’s pretty drunk, especially if you’re not real clear on taxonomic identification. Once it’s down, and the palate’s been washed sufficiently with alcohol, they’re more likely to find the humor in a new experience, and less likely to call the Board of Health. Also, I’ve been making this chili, and sharing the recipe, since the 1970’s from the west coast to the Mississippi Valley, so if you see it anywhere, it’s likely a forgery.

(The originator of this recipe takes no responsibility for gastro-intestinal distress, or subsequent laundry problems, caused by the use of said recipe)

Tags

Good Eats, Recipe, Roadkill

Meet the author

author avatar r.w.dean
I'm a 63 year old, retired, civil servant, with a lot of time, and a slightly warped sense of humor.
I live alone, well, with my dog Sunny, and I like it that way.

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
11th Dec 2010 (#)

That also has been my problem, with writing recipes.
I have been a cook most of my life and I never measured.
Sounds good and also, love your sense of humour.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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