Mmm, chili

Ever since that one summer as a family we went to the Beartooth Cafe in Cooke City, Montana, my father’s made exceptionally delicious chili.  He traditionally makes it for Super Bowl Sunday, but I think it would work well for Winter Olympic nights in front of the TV, or in the NBC chalet at Grouse Mountain, no?  (Though you may make it more than once every four years!)

So here it is:  Walt Lesnevich (Esquire)’s world-famous, award-winning chili recipe, in 12 easy steps!

Beartooth Cafe apron from Cooke City, Montana optional


Feeds 12-15

Ingredients:  4 lbs chuck, 90% lean , 4 lbs red beans, 3 green peppers, 1 head garlic, 6 onions, 3 lbs mushrooms, 3 cans whole tomatoes, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 32 oz beef stock, Cabernet, Dried red chilies, Red chile flakes, Oregano, Cumin, Dried cilantro, Fresh cilantro, Arrow root, Sour cream, Mexican cheese (shredded), 1 red onion

1.  Soak beans overnight in cold water; watch The Daily Show; go to bed; wake up; drink tea and read The Times

2.  Drain beans; boil for 2 hours; drain; add 10 dried chilies and simmer for an hour or two, until soft but crunchy

4.  Beef: Sprinkle chile flakes and press in; fry; drain at least twice, until all red is gone. Saute 6 cloves of garlic and 6 onions, until soft and brown

5.  Quarter mushrooms, saute half way, add to pot

6.  Chop green peppers, do not saute, add to pot

7.  Open 3 cans whole peeled tomatoes and 1 can crushed; add to pot

8. Add beef stock; 5 tablespoons dried red flakes; 7 tsp oregano; 4tsp cumin; 8 cloves diced garlic; 5 tsp chili; 5 tsp dried cilantro; watch Lindsey Vonn be awesome

9. Simmer at least 2 hours; more is better (use arrowroot if necessary, to thicken)

10.  In a side hot pot: 1 tenth of chile with 10 tbs chile flakes, and 3 tbs chili powder and 6 red chilies to make it very hot; mix with regular as desired

11.  For Cabernet Chile, add  4 oz strong Cabernet to cup  (Either way, open very good red wine and pour down chef’s mouth.  Then open good cabernet and add to pot)

For toppings: chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded Mexican cheese, chopped red onion

12.  Serve and gobble up.  Bask in compliments, drink more red wine, watch Shaun White kick ass, drink more red wine, turn off flame before bed.



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