Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cold Weather Stew and Chili

I just got off the phone with my friend Daniel, who was in the middle of frying bacon to make beef stew.  His recipe called for rendering the fat off the bacon and then frying the beef in it.  I asked for the recipe, which he has promised to send once he decides if he likes the way it turned out.  The obvious follow-up discussion was, of course, how much better everything tastes when it's fried in bacon fat.  As much as I try to make healthy foods for my family, there are times when nothing but cured pork will do.  I usually have a stash of country ham trimmings leftover from the Christmas ham in my freezer.  When that's gone, I move on to bacon.

I can't resist the lure of bacon, especially when it comes to using it as a flavor base for stew and chili.  Daniel said the best chili he's ever made came from an LA Times recipe entitled "Bowl of Red Chili".  The recipe serves 20 to 24, which seems like a lot, but when I mentioned that I bet it froze well, he said, "It did!" It's raining here and a perfect day to make chili.  But I don't want to leave the house.  When it stops raining, I will make a trip to the store and cook up a batch for another rainy day.
A rainy day at our house.  November 20, 2010.