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Nate’s Blue-Ribbon Refrigerator Magnet Chili Recipe
By Nathan Gunter
January 18, 2019
Here we are in January, and it looks like this weekend is going to be a cold one. My feelings about cold weather are mixed. I love a cold, windless, sunny day—perfect for a road trip or a nice, brisk hike. As a dedicated lover of books, I don’t hate any excuse to bundle up under blankets and dive into a good book. But as an avid runner and cyclist—and the sufferer of some mild Seasonal Affective Disorder—I do tire of it quickly.
But undeniably, one of my favorite things about winter is the food. Hot tea! Soup! Tonight’s dinner: beef and Guinness stew!
So when my colleagues informed me this week we needed a bowl of chili for a photograph, I offered to bust out my time-worn chili recipe. And then, in a bad-idea fever, I decided we should do the whole thing live on Facebook. Behold, the results:
So there you have it. And now, the actual recipe, annotated by yours truly:
Oklahoma Blue Ribbon Chili
2.5 pounds ground chuck
1 diced yellow onion
8 ounces beer
Okay, so the recipe calls for 2.5 pounds of ground chuck. And we all love our hearty beef chili. Most the time, however, I replace this with three pounds of turkey. Why? As you can see in the video, I enjoy turkey (try to use a 93/7 or 85/15 lean-to-fat ratio if you go the turkey route) because it’s a little leaner, a little healthier, and it absorbs the flavor of the beer a little better.
As to the beer: Prairie Bomb by Prairie Artisan Ales. It's a delicious stout with flavors of coffee, cacao, vanilla, and chili peppers. It’s the best chili beer, period, and it’s brewed right here in Oklahoma. It’s 13 percent alcohol by volume, though, so you’ll need to visit your local liquor store to get it.
So brown your ground meat (pork works well too) with the onion and beer. Once it’s browned, add your dry ingredients:
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
4 Tbsp. chili powder
I like to mix all these ingredients up in a little bowl before I get started. Once your meat’s all nice and brown, throw them in! Now we're ready to add:
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. hot sauce (again, more if you like it spicy. I use Louisiana Hot Sauce in the video above, but Cholula, Tobasco, Crystal, or any other hot sauce you like works great).
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Finish the whole thing off with 37 ounces of tomato sauce (I use the low-sodium kind, because health), and let it simmer for awhile. Garnish liberally with a nice sharp cheddar cheese, Fritos (the Honey Barbecue kind are the best with this), sour cream, jalapeños, and either green or red onions (or both).
So I hope you keep warm this weekend, Oklahoma.