In our continual strive to be as minimal as possible, who knew a freakin’ crock pot would make the cut? You know, the crock pot — that curious orb gifted you as a house warming gift and promptly placed beneath the kitchen sink behind the Febreeze bottle and rust remover. But the OG slow cooker that “cooks all day while the cook’s away” is worth another look (especially if you’re minimalist). Picture a kick-ass meal on your plate all week. How’s that on your PBR and firewood budget?
Today, let’s crack the code on the quintessential cowboy staple — chili; it’s filling, healthy, inexpensive, delicious and just plain cool. Clint and The Duke knew what’s what. And if you’re a guy in suburbia planning a meal with chopped vegetables, what’s more verile than throwing them into a bubbling iron cauldron (or crock pot!) of meat?
Look, we don’t have to sell you on chili. As Ken Kesey would say, you’re either on the bus or you aren’t on the bus. But if you’re literally on a bus, like Kitty and I, make sure you got some ventilation if you catch my drift. And if you can fire cook in cast iron under the stars, good on you, but this recipe is lightning in a crocker too.
So why is this chili “arrogant”? Because it’s great, fuckface. Why is it “bastard”? Because no can claim chili is their own. And, oh yeah, we dump half a tall can of Stone Brewery’s Arrogant Bastard Ale (7.2 %) into it, then down the rest while we’re chopping the heads off celery stalks.
So pop that cap and let’s get started.
Grab a piece of paper (that inside cover of a Bukowski book will do.) and make a grocery list. For less than $40, you’re going to eat for a week, and eat well. Here’s what we’ll need:
- 2 carrots
- 4 stalks of celery (chop those heads)
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 bell pepper (orange, red of yellow)
- 1/2 white onion (probably have to buy the whole onion)
- 3 cloves of garlic (same as above)
- chili powder, red pepper powder, cumin and salt
- 3 cans of beans — one black, one pinto and one chili
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 1 block of chedder
- *sour cream, hot sauce and loaf of sourdough (optional)
- 1 16 oz. can of Arrogant Bastard Ale (substituting something local is ideal, but don’t cheat with something cheap. We’re talking to you, PBR hipsters. Chili isn’t ironic. Don’t mess with it, partner.)
- And the secret ingredient … 6 oz. of chunky peanut butter (The more natural the better. No sugar. Look for Scudder’s or something you have to stir. The beer and PB aren’t the cheapest, but look at it this way, you’re going to be eating this bomb chili till next Tuesday and saving serious cashish. May as well be healthy.)
Directions: Brown the turkey in a skillet and lightly saute the onions, garlic and peppers before chucking them into the crock pot. Chop up your carrots and celery and toss ’em in. Add your beans and tomatoes. Season with your spices and fire up the cauldron (or plug in your crock pot and set to low). When it starts to warm, add your peanut butter and pour in your ale. (Salute, brother!) Stir every time you get another beer out of the cooler and try … try … not to eat it for at least 6 hours. Don’t even dig in the same day if you can hold out. You’ll have all week. Every day, the chili gets better as the spices and seasonings are absorbed through resting. Let the ingredients get to know one another, court and marry when they’re good and ready. Resting for at least a few hours, and usually overnight, allows for better melding of the flavors.
To serve: Ladel into a bowl and shred some cheese on top. Add a dollop of sour cream and dash of your favorite hot sauce, if you prefer. Cut up a loaf of San Francisco sourdough with butter if you want to get fancy.
Lean back and know you’re the man!