Thursday, October 25, 2007
Texas Tea Chili
Lapsang Souchong is not a tea for the indifferent. People seem to either love it or hate it, and I had to laugh when a friend of mine once wrote about it on her (non-tea-themed) blog and called it "vile stuff." Amen!
I've had a huge bag of LS tea in my cabinet, purchased in San Francisco by a fellow tea-drinking friend. I didn't trash it, figuring I would find some use for it one day, even if it was just to tea-dye lace. But then I began to think about what new chili recipe I would try this fall, and that's when it struck me: Instead of that liquid smoke like some people use in chili or baked beans, why not use the Lapsang Souchong tea to provide the smokiness?
I've made this three times now, adjusting this and that, and here's the recipe as I make it for my husband and me. We like chili without beans (like they make it in Texas, I'm told, where "cowboy chili" is the rule). This recipe yields about 4-6 servings, so if you hope to have leftovers for a couple of nights for yourself and the kids, you will probably want to double the recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
Texas Tea Chili
1 pound ground beef or ground chuck
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 green or yellow bellpepper (may substitute stronger peppers if desired)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) brewed Lapsang Souchong tea
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat and strain off grease. Add onion, garlic, spices and peppers and cook until onions are transparent. Then add remaining ingredients (including tomatoes in juice), the brewed tea, and add salt and pepper according to taste. Stir. I like to bring mine to the boil, then let it simmer on the stovetop until much of the liquid has been reduced and you have nice, thick chili.