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Sunday, December 4, 2011

brisket chili-sort of

Well, what to do with the less perfect parts of a less perfect cook of brisket and pork butt. Well, the traditional fallback for me is chili. Or, in this case, since I added some remnants of pulled pork, a chili-like substance suitable for use like chili. I have to say, there must be something other than cooking on my mind, I sort of blew this cook as well, as I ended up with a super smoking hot bowl of red, I ended up abandoning Texas Red to moderate the heat.

I started by preparing some aromatics, in this case, 2 yellow onions, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 Poblano chile and 2 red bells. I added the Poblano after fire roasting the skin off, which should give the chili a nice subtle fresh roasted chile background, the red bells recieved similar treatment, but, were added for sweetness. I used a neat trick to peel the garlic, which entails putting the unpeeled cloves into a metal container with a lid and shanking iy vigorously for a few minutes, peeled garlic is easy.


I also prepared some chile powder using fresh ground chile, I can easily access this since I live in a city with several nice Mexican groceries. I use Cayenne, California, de Arbol, Pasilla and sweet Paprika powders to make a blend, then use this along with my usual Phu Quoc black pepper and sea salt to season.

Home made Chile powder

I added the aromatics and 1 tablespoon of the chile powder to get the ball rolling, a little salt to help with wilting. Then into the pot went the brisket, some more chile powder and more heat. Finally, the pulled pork, which there was a lot of fat, I was not happy with the amount of fat in these butts. Then another tablespoon or so of chile powder and still more sauteeing. Once a fond formed, I added enough water to cover the mess, along with another tablespoon or so of chile powder and a healthy whack of salt.

Brisket added

Pulled Pork added

Cover on and cook for an hour at low heat simmer. Further testing indicated a little more flavor would be nice, so in went 1/2 cup of Red Boat Fish sauce. I will let this rest over night, and then continue to cook tomorrow. I like to let it rest partway through, since the meat is cooked and tender, it does not need hours to simmer and render. The rest allows for the flavors to combine and mellow.

Finished bowl of red chile...Spicy!

So, initial testing indicated that I was a little heavy handed with the home made untested chile powder and that some moderation was in order. I opted for the horrific idea of adding some tomato sauce and beans, along with more Red Boat and some palm syrup. This smooted things out, but, is not really my idea of what chili really is. Still, something had to be done.

Chili-like substance

Since I am a huge fan of rice, I think it has something to do with my Japanese heritage, at least in my case, I went with some leftover rice, with the chili-like substance spooned over. I had bought some other things, like cheese and onions to serve on top, but, the aroma and me recent workout argued for eating right away.

Bowl of chile-like stuff over rice, Tasty!

Oh, that brown stuff in the plastic bag? Mesquite flour, I am not sure what is going to happen to it, but, there it was.


  1. A little spicy was it? Been there done that.

  2. Oddly, it calmed down a lot once cooled. It turned out the me quite edible.

  3. Chili. Nuttin' wrong with that. I have my own blend I make with powdered ancho, New Mexico, chipotle and guajillo chiles, as well as JUST the right amount of 90 point cayenne. I make it with a dry rubbed flank steak (lean, but lots of flavor, and stays chunky and distinct even after a long simmer), but I've always wanted to try it with brisket.