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Spirited Cooking: Super Bowl Party Food

All year long, we look forward to the Super Bowl. Sure, our favorite teams don’t always make it in, and sometimes it’s a blowout, but we still love an excuse to have a party and hang out with friends and family.

Since it’s not just any given Sunday but the big game, your guests are expecting and deserve more than a mere bag of chips and some greasy pizza. Would Vince Lombardi have settled for such mediocrity?


So to help you throw the ultimate Super Bowl party, we asked grilling expert Steven Raichlen, author of the best-selling The Barbecue! Bible and host of PBS’ Barbecue University, what you should serve on Sunday. His answer is the delicious and boozy Beef and Pork Chili featured in his forthcoming cookbook, Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys. (It’s coming out in May.)

The secret ingredient to the hearty dish is actually a bottle of beer, which gives it a malty note. It also calls for both beef tenderloin tips and ground beef as well as ground pork and a host of common spices. The best part is that it takes just an hour to fix a big pot of it—plus, you can prepare the chili well in advance, so that you don’t spend the first half of the game in the kitchen. “Make sure you’re a guest at your own party,” advises Raichlen.

Then during the third or fourth quarter, when your guests have had their fill of chili and the game is grinding along, it’s time to whip up Raichlen’s hot drink The Caribou. (The recipe is also from his new cookbook.) It’s basically mulled wine that’s spiked with cognac, which you set on fire. Yes, on fire. (Please be very careful and have an extinguisher handy!) Think of it as your own pyrotechnic halftime show. Here’s to the Super Bowl!

Beef & Pork Chili

Contributed Contributed by Steven Raichlen

  • 2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Beef tenderloin tips, cut into half-inch dice
  • 2 lb Lean ground beef or bison
  • .25 lb Ground pork
  • 1 Large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 to 3 Fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
  • .33 cup Pure chile powder, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • .5 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2 qt (64 oz) Beef or chicken stock (use homemade, or a no- or low-sodium brand)
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle Beer
  • 1 (8-oz) can Tomato sauce (preferably organic)
  • 2 (15.5-oz) cans Pinto beans (preferably organic and low-sodium), rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15.5-oz) cans Kidney beans (preferably organic and low-sodium), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp Dark brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 to 3 tsp Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 oz Bittersweet chocolate

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add the tenderloin and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 4 to 6 minutes. (Cook in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan.) Transfer to a large platter. Add the ground beef and pork in 2 or 3 batches, cooking each batch until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked ground meat to the platter and pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the Dutch oven. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the onion, poblano, jalapeño and garlic, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chile powder, cumin, black pepper, oregano and cinnamon, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, beer, tomato sauce and reserved meat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the tenderloin pieces are very tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes more. Taste, and season with salt, brown sugar, chile powder, cumin and Tabasco Sauce as desired. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and sliced scallions for topping.

The Caribou

Contributed by Steven Raichlen

  • 1 Orange
  • 6 Whole cloves
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 (2-inch) piece Fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 (750-mL) bottles Dry red wine
  • .75 cup pure Maple syrup, honey or sugar, plus more to taste
  • 8 oz Cognac or other brandy, in a measuring cup with a spout
  • Glass: Mug

Using a vegetable peeler, remove two 1.5-by-.5-inch strips of peel from the orange, being careful to remove only the orange rind and not the white pith underneath. Stick 3 cloves in each piece of peel and set aside. Slice the orange and lemon into thin wheels, removing any seeds with a fork. Add the prepared orange peel, orange and lemon wheels, ginger, cinnamon, wine and maple syrup to a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste, and add more maple syrup if desired. Turn off the heat, leaving the pan on the stove. Gently pour in the cognac so it floats atop the wine mixture. Turn down the lights and carefully set the cognac aflame. After the flames subside, stir to combine. Ladle the mixture into mugs, trying to include a lemon or orange slice and a piece of cinnamon stick in each mug.

(Photo courtesy Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys)

Recipes: The Caribou

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