LAMB AND CHORIZO CHILI
Throw grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, and cilantro over a bowl of Stagg Chili and you have a satisfying bowl of chili. Throw those same condiments over a warm bowl of this hearty lamb and chorizo chili, and you have an epic winter meal. But I’ll warn you, this chili isn’t for the faint of heart. This is some rich, earthy fare the likes of which are seldom explored by the typical American diner. In my mind, I believe this is chili the way chili was always meant to taste.
Thick, heavily spiced and slightly gamey, this is cold weather, stick-to-your-ribs food at it best, making it not only great for the winter season, but also perfect Super Bowl grub if you’re looking to feed a group with a big appetite. I’d go so far as to call this real man food, if my girlfriend weren’t so quick to remind me that women love chili, too.
Garnishes are key here; they lighten the rich flavors while enhancing the chili’s meatiness, so set out a spread of shredded cheese, chopped onion, cilantro and sour cream and let your guests go nuts.
LAMB AND CHORIZO CHILI
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Use fresh, Mexican chorizo and not the dry-cured Spanish variety in this recipe. After sautéing and draining the chorizo, be sure to return the fat (drippings) to the pan from the top of any juices that might have collected. This flavorful, bright red fat will be the medium in which you will fry your aromatics. This chili can be made as far as three days in advance of service and will definitely benefit from an overnight “curing” in the refrigerator after it’s been simmered. When reheating, place the chili in a medium saucepan and bring back to a bare simmer, covered, and stirring often over low heat. Adjust with more stock or water if the chili seems dry and check again for seasoning. In fact, because not all chorizo sausage is seasoned the same way, taste throughout the cooking process and tailor the chili to your own taste.
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 3 ounces dried ancho chilies (about 5 large), stemmed, seeded, torn into pieces
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs pork chroizo, casings removed
- 2 cups red onion, coarsely chopped
- 10 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 can (15-ounces) canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Grated cheddar or jack cheese
- Thinly sliced green onions
- Sour cream or Mexican crema
- Cilantro leaves
- Pickled jalapenos, diced
- Combine first three ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer over medium heat until chilies soften, about 12 minutes. Puree mixture in a blender, in batches if need be. Strain the chile mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook chorizo in a large pot over medium-high heat until drippings come to a simmer. Transfer to a strainer set over a bowl and let drain for 10 minutes.
- Return 1/4 cup of the chorizo drippings to the same pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano and cumin and saute until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Sauté just until the lamb is no longer pink on the outside. Add chili puree and drained chorizo. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 1 hour.
- Add drained pinto beans and simmer uncovered until liquid thickens, about 15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated cheddar, sour cream, green onions, cilantro and diced pickled jalapenos as desired.
Makes 6 to 8 servings, depending on the appetite of your crowd