I know, I know, technically Colorado has nothing to do with my gaming habits of late, but I am nothing if not consistent. Besides, if I were to do a food column about my current review assignment, BloodRayne: Betrayal I’d be serving up a big bowl of blood and failure. Tasty! I guess I could provide a recipe for pro-energy granola bars as I am scarfing them down like mad as I punch my way through Deus Ex, or I could show you how to make steak fries in tribute to Barry Steakfries from Jetpack Joyride. I could also make a post about my last win in Quarrel however I’m not sure what food comes to mind with the word “droves” as that word was integral in my last victory.
So, unless you want a column on droves of bloody, pro-energy steak fries, I’m sticking with Colorado. Chili Colorado that is…
Chili Colorado isn’t the chili that you make on game day when your buddies come over to drink beer and watch football. First of all, it’s a Mexican dish, not a Texan dish. Second all, there are no beans, no tomatoes, no bell peppers, no gaggles of spices or Oreos or any other Lethal Weapon ingredients. There’s just chunks of pork in a red sauce made from dried chiles. Serve it up with tortillas and refried beans and you have one spectacularly simple meal. I got my recipe from a book called Authentic Mexican
by Rick Bayless. It’s a great Mexican cookbook if you’re interested in authentic, regional Mexican cooking. Along with this recipe, it also has a recipe for poached chicken breasts that I use whenever I need shredded, cooked chicken.
Carne con Chile Colorado (Meat in Red-Chile Sauce)
1. 8 medium dried New Mexican/California chiles, stemmed, seeded and deveined
2. 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
3. 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
4. 1 tsp dried oregano
5. A generous 1/2 tsp ground cumin
6. 1 1/2 tbl lard or vegetable oil
7. 1 1/2 lbs lean pork shoulder cut into 1 inch cubes
8. 1/2 tsp salt
1. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
2. Tear the chiles into flat pieces and toast them on the hot pan, pressing down with a spatula until they crackle and change color. Once they change color, flip them over and toast them some more.
2. Put the toasted chile pieces in a bowl, cover with boiling water and cover them with a plate to keep them submerged for 30 minutes. Drain the pieces and keep one cup of the chile water.
3. Transfer the chile pieces and chile water to a blender. Add the garlic, onion, oregano and cumin and blend until smooth. Drain the sauce through a medium mesh sieve.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork cubes in an uncrowded single layer, for about ten minutes, flipping and scraping the pan as necessary.
5. Add the chile puree to the pan and continue cooking the meat for an additional 4 – 5 minutes, until the puree is darker and thicker.
6. Scrape the mixture into a medium sized saucepan, stir in the salt and two cups of water. Bring to a boil, partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. If the sauce thickens up too much, add more water.
Once the meat is very tender, serve it up, grab the ice cold cerveza of your choice and chow down. Next week I’ll try and come up with something gaming oriented. In the meantime, if anyone has a good energy bar recipe, let me know.