Where’s the beef?
All beans vs. no beans, Cincinnati vs. Texas, or spaghetti vs. rice. Chili lovers unite and divide over this one-pot-wonder, but the biggest debate will always be about the meat. Here’s a look at some of chili’s different in-“carne”-ations.
Beef: A good Texas chili is all beef with no beans or veggies to get in its way. Texans opt for chunks of brisket, sirloin or chuck (as opposed to the ground beef that Midwesterners prefer), so the result is more slow-cooked and stew-like.
Pork: In chili verde, chunks of pork are slow-cooked in chicken broth with garlic, tomatillos and roasted green chilis for a fiery burrito filling.
Turkey/Chicken: Those cooking lighter make “white chili” using ground or shredded turkey or chicken. Usually mixed with white beans, green chilis and lime juice, the result is brighter and cleaner than its crimson cousins.
Bison/Elk/Venison: Use one of these leaner meats in a traditional style red chili and enjoy the rich, gamey flavor of beef with a fraction of the fat.—Megan Headley
Bring the heat
A bowl of chili without peppers just ain’t chili at all. Make sure you add the very best to your pot.
The folks over at Revolutionary Soup recommend using chipotle peppers in your chili or Mexican stew. Chipotles are available dried whole, canned, pickled or powdered. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, make them yourself using a home smoker.
Other garden-grown peppers (jalepenos, etc.) can be dried by hanging them upside-down in bunches.
The worst defeat of any Super Bowl party is too little beer. Avoid committing this unforgivable blunder by following Starr Hill Brewmaster Mark Thompson’s formula: one beer per person. Seems low, but with all his experience (and the assumption that there are other beverages on offer), Thompson swears by it. So, buy a case for 20 people, a pony keg for 60 people, and a full keg for 125 people. Now, if only there were such a formula for buffalo wings.
Where to go to watch the game
Pack ‘er in at one of these local bars to see who’ll Steel the Lombardi trophy.
Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar (120 E. Main St., 295-1223)
Rapture (303 E. Main St., 293-9526)
The Corner/West Main
The Backyard (20 Elliewood Ave., 202-8215)
The Biltmore (16 Elliewood Ave., 202-1498)
Trinity Irish Pub (1505 University Ave., 295-7100)
Wild Wing Café (820 W. Main St., 979-9464)
Barracks Road/Preston Avenue
Buffalo Wild Wings (1935 Arlington Blvd., 977-1882)
McGrady’s Irish Pub (946 Grady Ave., 293-3473)
Beer Run (156 Carlton Ave. #203, 984-2337)