Monday, September 21, 2009

Uncle Craig's Rattlesnake Chile

This has been a long, long love affair. My husband and I have been in love with this chile since we first tasted it a little over 5 years ago. My Uncle Craig made it for us one Halloween night and we have been dying for the recipe ever since. He finally handed it over, and I literally ran to the store for all the indredients. It is the perfect recipe to kick off the fall/winter season. We had it with some navajo fry bread and followed up the meal with caramel apple cinnamon rolls. So turn on the fireplace, grab a good book and a warm blanket and serve yourself up a bowl. It won't disappoint!!

Look at the steam rising up...This will warm you down to your bones!!

We were at first coaxed into believing that this was made with real rattlesnake meat, (hence the name), and we try to keep the joke going. So make this for Halloween and let your guests in on the "secret ingredient".... :)

1 six foot rattler, skinned, boned, and de-rattled (Or for those without de-rattling skills: substitue 1 lb. lean pork shoulder, cut into bite size pieces)
1 15 oz can mild roasted green chiles
4 c. onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound bacon
2 T. corn meal
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
4 T. mild chile powder
5 jalepeno peppers
1 T. cumin
1 t. oregano
1 T. smooth peanut butter (yes, I'm serious.)
1/3 oz semi sweet chocolate (again, trust me.)
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 15 oz. can pinto beans
1 15 oz can black beans
optional: 1/2 c. tequila

Fry the bacon until crisp, and set aside to cool. In a large soup pot, saute the onions and garlic in about 2 T of the bacon drippings until transparent. Add the corn meal and chopped tomatoes with their juice, the chopped green chiles, cumin, chile powder, oregano, and 1 cup of water, simmer for half an hour.
Meanwhile, seed and chop the jalapeno peppers (avoid touching the seeds and any part of your face or body while doing will burn if you do!) Add the chopped pepper and 1/2 c of water to a blender and puree. Add about half of the water/pepper mix to the pan saving the rest to be added to taste later. Continue to simmer the chile base for another 15 minutes.
Drain the beans and stir them into the pot. Remove about 1/2 c of the chile and puree in a blender with the peanut butter and chocolate (these ingredients mellow the acidity of the chiles and allow the flavors to come thorugh, without imparting any of their own flavor). Return the blended mixture to the pan.
Using another tablespoon or so of the bacon drippings, saute the diced rattlesnake (or pork) until done. Chop the cooled bacon and add all of the meat to the chile. Simmer for another 1/2 hour, or until the meat is tender. Add more water if necessary, and add more of the blended jalapeno's if the chile needs more kick. Salt to taste. If using tequila, add at the end.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions if desired.

*Side note: we may try ground pork next time because we weren't sure about the big chunks of meat. Or maybe cut the pork into smaller pieces.

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