When people ask what my favourite food is to cook, they were somewhat shocked when I state…American! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook Italian, chinese and good ol’ English favourites, alas, when I need to pull out a dish which I can make without thinking, it’s dishes which I have discovered through American influences that are my go too recipes.
I know what you’re thinking now, what kind of American dishes could possibly compete with classical Italian, French, Spanish dishes etc.? Well, a hot creamy macaroni cheese can be heavenly. A bread roll filled with succulent steak, topped with fried onions and melted cheese are the main ingredients for a satisfying Philly cheese steak sandwich. Then there is the cajun influence which encourages yours truly to knock up an amazing jambalaya. Yep, all of these may well have been influenced by immigrants landing on American shores but it is on these shores with which the dishes can now call home.
Whilst visiting the state of Michigan (in fact this is the only state I’ve visited in the U.S.) I was given a cookbook about the legendary dishes of this fair land. During my many change of addresses, this book has been lost or lies sitting in a dust covered box somewhere, but there is one recipe from this book which has become a tried and trusted success. In the book it was called Superbowl Chilli, but I’m more of a fan of the sport with a round football, so I prefer to call it World Cup Chilli. Alas, since moving to New Zealand shores, there hasn’t been much opportunity to eat chilli whilst watching footy, due to the time differences, but that hasn’t stopped me from making batch after batch of this version of the classic.
World Cup Chilli
Rice Bran Oil (its one of the good oils)
750g Minced Beef
750g Minced Pork
2 Large onions finely chopped
2 sticks of celery finely chopped
2 large peppers (capsicum) finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground oregano
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 bottle of beer/lager (you can drink the rest whilst making dinner)
1 tin of canned tomatoes
1 tin of baked beens
1 tin of kidney beans
1 beef stock cube
Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oil in a large 5ltr cooking pot or something of a similar size.
- Fry the beef and pork mince until brown, don’t worry if it sticks slightly to the bottom of the pan, this all adds to the flavour.
- Pour the cooked meats from the pan into a bowl and put to one side. Now fry the onions until they go clear and slightly brown.
- Add the celery and peppers to the cooked onion and continue to cook until the celery begins to soften.
- Add all the spices to the onion, celery and pepper mix. By cooking the spices now, you are releasing all their goodness.
- Add the meat to the pan and mix together the spice vegetables and meats.
- Pour in the beer/lager and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
- Now add the tomatoes and beens to the pot and bring to the boil.
- I like to crumble the stock cube straight into the pan at this point.
- Allow the chilli to now cook on a low heat for about an hour, be careful to not let the sauce stick to the bottom of the pan. The sauce should be thick and delicious before serving.