Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chili-cheese fries

This is a great chili for fries, dogs, burgers, etc... because it is mild and rich. If you want a hardcore spicy chili, this is not the stuff. However, you can add to it to get whatever spice level you desire.
I have been obsessed with chili-cheese sweet potato fries ever since I took on the challenge. Since I am trying to limit my starch intake, this is a treat I make only once in a while.

1 tbs homemade lard (saved bacon grease is better for this recipe)
1/2 onion diced
8 cloves diced garlic
2 pounds of ground grass-fed beef, bison or both
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup diced jalapenos
2 15 oz. cans organic diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can organic tomato sauce
2 cups homemade beef stock

In a slow-cooker or stock-pot melt the lard and get the onions and garlic sauteing. While that is happening, combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix it together. When everything is hot and sizzling, add the meat to your pot and throw in the dry mix. As soon as the meat is thoroughly browned, add the coffee, jalapenos, wine and stock. The cans of diced tomatoes can be thrown in as-is, however I prefer to blend everything with the tomato sauce before adding to the mix. Let it simmer or cook on low in the slow-cooker until it looks like that disgusting chili they throw on your food at the fast-food restaurants. That's exactly what we're going for; disgustingly delicious!

Sweet-Potato Fries
Get yourself some organic sweet potatoes, peel them and then slice them however you like in a french fry fashion. If you soak them in water for about 10 minutes after you cut them, this is supposed to take some of the starch out. Get the oven heated to 400-415 degrees and move a rack to a low spot above the heating element. On a baking sheet (I also recommend a Silpat) melt a couple tablespoons of lard, bacon grease or butter and toss your fries around on it. I season mine with Old Bay or blackening seasoning or just plain sea salt. Make sure to move them around as they cook. It takes a while because they are so full of water, so expect at least 30 minutes of "frying" time. At some point, they will look ready but not really have a crispness to them. You may never achieve the crispiness you expect but put them on a high rack under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes to come close. Keep an eye on them because they can start to burn quickly.

Put a pile of fries on your plate, add chili and cheese. Need I say more?
Once you start making this, good luck. I promise you will become addicted.

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