2013 - Zero Chili and Hand Pies
Chili Chef: Michael Cincinatus

Chili Ingredients

6 Strips Bacon
1 Large Onion, minced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 lb Chuck roast, cut into 1/2” cubes
1.5 cups Water
1 28 ounce can Tomatoes, cores removed and then crushed between your fingers (the tomatoes, not the cores)
1 Red bell pepper, minced
1 Home grown jalapeño pepper, minced
1 Home grown banana pepper, minced
1 can "secret" ingredient consisting of (water, tomato paste, glucose-fructose, wheat flour, salt, yeast extract, sea salt, spices & citric acid)
1 19 oz can Red kidney beans
¼ tsp. Cayenne
1 tsp. Cumin
2 tbsp. Chili powder
1/8 tsp. Basil
1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Chili Instructions

  1. With love and care, plant jalapeño, banana and bell peppers in your garden the summer before you will need them. Don’t get too excited when you see the green peppers appear. Let them ripen – they turn red –and develop their full flavor. Harvest; eat the bell peppers, which won’t last until winter. Remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño and banana peppers; slice them in half, and freeze them between layers of wax pepper; patiently await for the chili bowl to arrive in March.
  2. Heat a large pot on the stove on medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon to pan and fry until the fat is clear. Discard the bacon.
  3. .Add onions, peppers, garlic, and spices to the bacon fat. Cook, stirring and coughing from the fumes occasionally for 10 minutes. At this point, you should make sure the fan is on over the stove; you might want to crack open a window.
  4. Increase the heat to medium high. Add half the beef cooking until it starts to brown 3-4 minutes. Then add the rest of the beef and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and accompanying liquid, Campbell’s secret ingredient and water. Bring to a boil.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low. Note: If you borrow a slow cooker from your neighbour and it has no instructions, and only one dial marked 0, 1, 2, auto”, 0 is not low. It’s off. If you leave the chili in the cooker on 0 all night, it will not cook. You’ll need to turn it to 1 the next morning and let it slow cook all day.
  7. Around 8 hours into the cooking, rinse the beans and add them to the chili. Cook for another two hours.
  8. Cool to room temperature.

Hand Pies Ingredients

6 oz. Unsalted butter cut into small pieces and chilled
2 oz. Vegetable shortening
1 lb. All purpose flour
2 pinches Kosher salt
4 tsp. Ice water
4 tsp. Chilled vodka
Chili (of course!)

Hand Pies Instructions

First, make the pastry.

  1. Learn to make pastry.
  2. Weigh all the ingredients (see step #1).
  3. Chill all of the ingredients (see step #1).
  4. Mix the flour and salt with a whisk.
  5. Cut the fat into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs and has small pea-size pieces of fat still visible.
  6. Add the chilled water and vodka a tablespoon or two at a time, gently folding the mixture after each addition of liquid.
  7. When the dough starts to hold together, spill it out on the counter and kneed using the traditional frissage method (see step #1).
  8. Divide the dough into at least two balls; wrap in plastic wrap; and chill for at least 45 mins.

Next, make the hand pies.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350o F.
  2. Roll out the dough and cut into circles using a cookie cutter.
  3. Wash the edges of the dough with a beaten egg.
  4. Put a tablespoon of cooled chili in the centre of the dough circle; fold the dough in half, and seal the edges.
  5. Put the hand pies on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Crimp the edges of each pie with a fork to prevent leakage.
  7. Wash the tops of the pies with beaten egg.
  8. Cut two small steam vent holes in each pie.
  9. Bake for 25 mins.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  11. Win a prize.


(copyright 1990-2018, Ian Silver)