The magic of Wagyu and Zinfandel
I discovered the magic Wagyu makes when it’s the base for a decadent chili. This particular Wagyu beef chili was created by Chef Rick Warkel of Calistoga Kitchen for the Northern California (Sonoma County) Wine Road Food & Wine Affair. The event included wineries from the Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. Each winery paired one of their wines with a decadent dish. As with any well-produced food and wine events, there were many brilliant pairings. But this recipe stood out to me as the perfect winter dish–especially when it’s paired with Mutt Lynch Zinfandel – Perotti Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley. Then it becomes a serious aphrodisiac!
- 2 dried ancho chiles
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 pounds coarsely ground Akaushi sirloin
- 2 cups diced white onions medium dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 serrano chile cut into small dice
- 1 poblano chile cut into small dice
- 1 pasilla chile cut into small dice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper plus more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Mexican or sweet oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup dark chili powder
- 1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- Chopped fresh cilanto for garnish
- Sour cream for garnish
- Chopped white onion for garnish
- In a small bowl, soak the ancho chiles in the water until softened. Drain the chiles and reserve the soaking water. Chop the chiles.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the ground sirloin and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl, leaving the fat in the pot.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft.
- Add the green and red bell peppers and the ancho, serrano, poblano and pasilla chiles. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season with 1 tablespoon each salt and black pepper.
- Stir in the tomato paste, then add the oregano, cayenne and chili power and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the browned meat, tomatoes and reserved soaking water. Cover and cook on very low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Uncover and continue cooking until it reaches a nice "chili" consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.
- Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro, sour cream and white onion.
For a truly sensational experience, pair the chili with Mutt Lynch mbf Zinfandel - Perotti Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley.
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