Rootin’ Tootin’ Root Beer Chili

Day 78

My brother-in-law is very knowledgeable in all things guys should know, chili included. It was he who gave me a recipe for root beer chili with the caveat, “If you’re some dusty, Billy Gibbons type that likes your chili super-hot and your women super-leathery…this probably ain’t the chili for you. If however, you have a family with milder palates…this chili will probably go over pretty well.”
Well put, but it did leave one glaring blind spot. What if I am afflicted with a natural tropism toward pleathery women, would I still be able to enjoy his chili? Given my general neuroses and my “unique” innate predilection, I wasn’t so sure. I was forced to make some significant changes to his recipe:

Add to a pot:

– 5.5 Oz cooked ground beef
– 8 Oz cooked pork loin, diced
– 1 C onion, diced
– 1 C green pepper, diced
– 2 ¼ C diced canned tomatoes
– 1/2 C pickled spicy carrots
– 1 C root beer
– 1 C vegetable juice
– 2 T chili powder
– 1 t cumin
– ½ t powder jalapeno
Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes

Add:

– 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 C cooked spaghetti, chopped into small pieces (you guessed it, it’s leftover night)

Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes

Serve with oyster crackers and shredded cheddar

Rootin' Tootin' Root Beer Chili

Rootin’ Tootin’ Root Beer Chili

Tasting notes:

Today we see the beauty of having pre-cooked leftovers on hand. One item that (sadly) was not immediately available was the root beer. I momentarily was tempted to use Mrs. Chili 365’s Dr. Pepper for this recipe but I stopped short, for three good reasons: 1) Dr. Pepper tastes bad. 2) It would hardly be rootin’ tootin’ root beer chili sans the root beer. It’d just be rootin’ tootin’ chili. You really don’t want to catch wind of that. 3) Years ago I would sneak a little Dr. Pepper now and then (not to drink, mind you. It’s good for other things- clearing clogged drains, building mentos bombs, and de-licing monkeys, just to name a few.) Anyhow, Mrs. Chili 365 started marking the bottle. Naturally, I combatted this by adding back the volume in water. This was not a good idea, as the putrid brown Dr. Pepper color becomes an increasingly more sickly caramel color when diluted. Not only that, the Missus was pretty quick to figure out what was going on. Hell hath no fury…
To the point, I was resigned to run to the bank in order to withdraw money with which to purchase the root beer. That part went okay, but by the time I reached the third soda machine my frustration was nearing critical mass. Seems that many of the soda machines in the near vicinity have either ceased functioning or are depleted of stock. (Any idea how stupid I look while imploring a non-sentient drink dispenser to cooperate?). Good fortune was on my side as, with machine 3, I was able to successfully complete the $1.25 transaction and I gladly ran home, 1.5 miles in the cold rain clutching my 20 oz prize.

And now for the chili. It was excellent. Billy Gibbons and the rest of ‘Top might like it too. The powdered jalapenos and spicy pickled carrots gave the dish requisite zip. The ITP lamented that the chili fell short of tasting exactly like root beer, but they enjoyed it all the same. Balanced, hearty, and comforting- this chili is all that and a bag of Naugahyde.

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