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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