After dropping the Chili Cousins off at the starting line, I had some time to kill before meeting up with them somewhere around mile 10. While a brisk training was surely on the near horizon, biding my time at the grocer was something I felt strongly compelled to do. Once at the store, I deliberated at the beer section to no avail, as beer cannot be legally purchased at 6:30am. All those lonely bottles of rich barley and hop goodness just waiting to be rehomed and I couldn’t do a frickin’ thing for them. I choked back the salty tears of bitterness and took solace in the reality that my basement (really) is (really) stacked with homebrews. Slowly raising my chin skyward and feigning a look of dignity, I courageously pressed on, to the meat department. Like a seasoned hunter zeroing in on his prey, I immediately pinpointed the perfect base for today’s chili- 2 ½ pounds of tender pork loin chops. Thank goodness this Communist State ‘graciously’ permits pork sales prior to the 8 o’ clock hour.
With firm, yet supple strokes I lovingly applied the zippy A1 chili marinade to the succulent chops. The incredible aroma of the marinating meat had me salivating as I made my way out the door for a brisk 3.5 mile run to the mile 10 rendezvous. Good thing I was hauling ass, as I nearly missed the first Chili Cousin as he burned up the hill and cruised past. Not long after the second Chili Cousin rocketed by. If you’ve never watched you buds run a foot race, try it sometime. The exhilaration is difficult to match (without pharmacological assistance). Runner’s highs are one thing, but there must be a runner voyeur’s high that easily matches it. Case in point, I stuck around for an hour after my cousins passed and cheered on the remaining runners. I was on cloud nine, but I probably didn’t feel quite as good as the Chili Cousins had after they crushed a difficult course.
As every ending should be a happy one, I scooped the boys up from the finish line and headed to Casa de Chili for a feast of A1 Grilled Chili Chops and homemade Pale Ales (in your face antiquated liquor laws).
1 package (1.25 oz) A1 original marinade mix
1 T chili powder
½ t red pepper flakes
½ T sriracha sauce
½ t Bavarian seasoning
¼ C red wine vinegar
2 T coffee
2 T olive oil
2 ½ lb (boneless) pork loin chops
- Mix marinade ingredients.
- Using a spoon, baste both sides of the pork chops.
- Allow chops to rest at room temperature for 3 hours.
- Grill over charcoal fire until cooked completely.
Nothing caps off a morning of running (and watching others run) like grilled chili washed down with crisp, tasty homebrews. To my delight, the chops tasted every bit as good as they smelled. This was outstanding news as I had some guest ITP in need of some carb and protein replacement. If the pitch-perfect chops were not enough, we were treated to some incredible elk sausage. Suffice to say, no one went away hungry and a great many laughs were had at this chili feast.