The marinade is the marriage of four manifestations of the jalapeno. It is, without argument, a fiery Molotov cocktail of pure pepper hubris. To conjure the ‘bomb’, one must become as familiar with the jalapeno as to call him by first name. Hal and I go way back.
Most chili is seasoned from the outside in, i.e. the meat is cooked and seasonings and tomato sauce then are added. Hal and I wanted to do something different, something terrific, something demonstrating a (possible) truancy of sound judgment. We struck out to season the entirety of the meat and then cook it in a mild tomato sauce. A jar empty of pickles but full of yummy pickle juice provided us with a perfect vehicle for the jalapeno flavor. We simply needed to displace the pickle flavor with jalapeno flavor. Consider the addition of chipotles, jalapenos, pickled jalapenos, and jalapeno powder displacement by thermal nuclear surgical strike.
2 C pickle juice
4 dried smoked jalapenos (chipotles) seed and chopped
2 fresh jalapenos, slice (include seeds)
20 slices of pickled jalapenos
½ t jalapeno powder
1 T chili powder
1 ½ lb elk meat, cubed (you could use beef, pork, boar, venison, or unicorn)
8 oz tomato sauce
2 C diced tomato
1 T chili powder
½ t cumin
½ t coriander
1 T masa harina
- In a glass jar, mix the marinade ingredients:
- Incubate marinade for 6 hours (do this as to displace any residual pickle flavor).
- Add meat to a glass bowl and cover with marinade.
- Incubate at room temperature for 8 hours.
- Remove meat from the marinade and place the meat (and maybe a few slices of jalapenos) to the slow cooker.
- Throw away the rest of the peppers and the marinade.
- To the meat-containing slow cooker, add the chili ingredients and mix well.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Add 1 T masa harina and cook on high for 30 minutes.
- Serve over cooked noodles.
My distance running, elk-meat-providing cousin came to town today and I was dead set on impressing him and his buddy. The jalapeno bomb chili made a strong positive impression, as there were smiles, laughter, and bowls empty of chili. As a bonus, I was the beneficiary of a cooler full of delicious elk. (More elk= more chili, Yay!)
Mrs. Chili365 confessed that of the elk chilis I’ve made this year (I count 13), this ranks as tops in her book. The meat was incredibly tender and succulent and SPICY. Yes, the bomb was not fizzle- it came atcha’ with a BOOM. The remaining ingredients played a resoundingly strong supporting role- mild against the zesty elk. This meal was chili perfection, over noodles.
There is one downside to the chili merriment. Each time I touch my eye, it burns like napalm. Yeah, surgical gloves ought to have been worn during the surgical strike. I have vowed not to touch any other sensitive body parts until the burning goes away. For me this sort of tactile temperance is harder than you’d think.