January 17th- Cubano Chili (pork)

Q:  How are pot luck lunches with coworkers and dating the same?

A:  In both occasions of societally prescribed drudgery, it is vital that one under promise and over deliver.

The first part of this equation is simple enough, mumble a few generalities, avoid substance and specificity.  The latter half of the equation is, by its nature, the more challenging.  You need to come up with something. If it’s not in your capacity to endure the tedium of careful thought and meticulous planning, my suggestion is to simply wow them by using lots and lots of ingredients.  This truism is applicable to pot lucks as well as to dating.    While I must refrain from offering any further dating advice (court’s orders), I can help with the chili:

2 pounds pork loin, cubed

1/3 C fresh jalapeno, sliced

1 ¼ C bloody Mary mix

2 shots of Triple Sec

2 t Mexican oregano

1 t turmeric

2 t cumin

1 t ground arbol pepper

2 T chili powder

½ t crushed red pepper

½ t cayenne

2 T molasses

1 ¼ C tomato sauce

¼ C ginger ale

1 T grenadine

1 can diced tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

1 can pinto beans

2 T lime juice

2 T red wine

½ C green olives, chopped

1C ham, cubed

Brown pork loin in a large pan, do not drain

Add everything else, except the beans, lime juice, wine, olives, and ham.

Simmer 2 hours.

Add the beans, lime juice, wine, olives, and ham.

Simmer 5 minutes.

Serve to pleasantly credulous and open minded coworkers.

Cubano chili.  22 ingredients.  A perfect blind date.

Cubano chili. 22 ingredients. A perfect blind date.

Tasting notes-

First a word of caution- do not eat this while downing homemade IPAs.  While this chili and my IPAs are excellent in isolation, together form a vortex of pain on the tongue.  Apparently aggressive hops and spicy chili can collaborate for the purposes of evil and taste bud mayhem.  My advice- It is best to drink the IPA while making the chili, wait at least an hour, then dig in.

This chili, when eaten with no beer chaser, has a very full bodied flavor profile, with sweet peaks of pleasure at the top half and a hot spiciness bringing up the (substantial) rear end.  It is really enjoyable, as there is a lot to love.

The Involuntary Tasting Panel cautiously enjoyed it.  They viewed it as perhaps too spicy.  The credulous coworkers praised it as delicious.  I wasn’t too worried, with a full 9% of the ingredients being booze, how could I lose?

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