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  • The Hungry Sloth

Mashed potatoes over chili, oven style

tl;dr recipe at the bottom


Ok it is time for some serious business, so be prepared to have some spare time to cook properly if you want to taste greatness. I always thought this dish was a traditional American, but as I research more, everything leads to the fact that it has Mexican roots. So I will not stand to neither information until I am sure and it becomes a fact. If you know the truth of this enigma, enlighten me please! Thank God U.S.A. and Mexico are on the same continent so we will call it an Americas dish so everyone (probably not) will be closer to satisfaction.


The Idea

I am quite sure that someone else must have come with the idea before me but even if they did, I made it first in my mind, ok? And this exact idea I'm going to show here. So first we will have to focus on making a fine #chili. The "fine chili" alone needs about two hours of slow cooking, and some stirring and loving in between. After we get happy with the results (and yes we will!) we will play the #potato game. I say after and not at the same time because there are two factors that must be set into our minds beforehand. First the chili treats us as a V.I.P. guest and won't co-operate well if we don't let it get some rest before continuing into the oven, meaning that if we immediately add the hot chili in the oven and place mashed potatoes on top, the mashed potatoes will start to blend with the chili because of the high temperature. Second factor is that we want mashed potatoes to be at peak condition when they walk on the red carpet inside the oven. We don't want them thick and still because they managed to cool down, but exaclty the opposite. We need to play with the temperatures and capture both worlds where we want them. You can try to start boiling them 50 minutes prior to taking the chili off fire in order to keep up decently.

So, when the mashed potatoes come into play, we will merge those two realities via the World Very Hot Merger (I mean the oven) for about 20-25 minutes. In that amount of time chili will start to get warmer, keeping mashed potatoes in their gummy state without melting the mixture and on the top side we will get this golden brown potato skin that the warm air will create. Lets get into the recipe.



Chili

While the ingredients for chili are numerous it is something that shouldn't keep you from making it. The instructions for chili are suuuuper easy and the only asset you must possess in your disposal is time and the will to eat afterwards.

So to walk the longest road, one must take the first step, and this step for chili is to cut your ingredients to pieces that you will be satisfied to find later inside your plate. Having said that, as a weird guy I don't like very big pieces, so most of the ingredients that I will list below are in small cubes or even melt except from specific materials such as the tomatoes which I wanted to be bigger and give color to my days and onions for the sole reason that they tend to dissapear when they get cooked for a lot of time.

  • In a pot add a tablespoon of #olive #oil and brown the ground #beef for a short period of time

  • Add a shot of red wine and wait for a minute so the alcohol evaporates

  • Gather all the ingredients together and add them to the pot

  • Pour in the tomato sauce and add the rest of the spices (#cumin, #chili powder, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes)

  • Add water, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low.

After the first boil, taste your chili and adjust it according to your preference. Add water if needed after the first hour and give it a stir every now and then. I did it every half an hour and everything went smooth. When everything is done, a tablespoon of butter is a must to enhance the taste more by adding more umami, and keep the whole mixture to a shiny condition. And that's it, you are set!


Mashed potatoes

Ok this procedure is equally easy with even less materials. All you need to do is to peel the skin and cut in pieces your 1.2 - 1.3 kg of potatoes and boil them for 40-45 minutes in salted water. The gurus say the water shouldn't be hot when you add the potatoes but this will increase the time to about an hour. I am no pro-guru-sensei chef so I boiled the water in the boiler and then added the potatoes. Nothing bad happened, except perhaps to my karma? I don't know.

If after the 45 minutes you can easily pierce them with a fork, then you are good to continue. Drop the water, and press the potatoes with your potato masher. Add cheddar while at the pressing procedure as well as butter. No milk. NO. Buttter and cheddar. It needs about 4 tablespoons of butter and two - three handfulls of cheese. But hey, you are the master chef here and you will decide how much gummy you want it.

At this stage you can add a couple of mashed garlic cloves as well, to gain its unique flavor and even blend some finely chopped chives but the whole thing would be a bit "heavier" than I would like to have and I love sleeping at night without dying inside, so I totally skipped this part. Be my guest to try it and share the nightmares you had if you feel bave enough.


Putting it together

Everything is ready and waiting (including the hungry familly). Preheat your oven at 170 degrees Celsius with hot air. In a fire proof container add your chili just below the middle, cover with cheddar and by using a spoon make oval shapes of your mashed potatoes and cover.

Place the container inside the oven for 20-25 minutes and start making a salad! Before consuming it, I would advise to let it rest for 10 minutes so when trying to put it on the plate it surely won't brake apart as it still hot.


Ingredients

Prep time:15 minutes | Cook time:2,5 hours | Serves:6


Chili

  • 400 gr ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 400 gr canned whole tomatoes

  • 400 gr canned kidney beans not drained

  • 200 gr canned white beans prefferably in tomato sauce

  • 200 ml tomato sauce

  • Half onion

  • 1 jalapeno de-seeded and de-veined

  • 1 celery

  • 1 Cubanelle pepper

  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • Half tablespoon red pepper flakes

  • Salt and pepper (as you please)

  • 1 tablespoon butter at the end

  • 200-250 ml water

  • 200 gr cheddar for later use

  • (Optional) 100 gr boiled corn

Mashed Potatoes

  • 1.2- 1.3 kg medium potatoes

  • Salt

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 150 gr cheddar

  • (Optional) 2 cloves of garlic

  • (Optional) 1 tablespoon Chives


tl;dr version


Chili

  • Brown the ground beef with olive oil

  • Add all the ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low.

  • Slow cook for 2 hours, adding some water if needed and stir every now and then

  • Let it rest

Mashed Potatoes

  • Cut potatoes in pieces

  • Boil them in salty water for about 40-45 minutes

  • Throw water away and mash them

  • Add butter and cheddar as you mash to blend it together

Bringing it together

  • Preheat oven at 170 C with hot air

  • In a heat proof container pour chili until the middle of the container.

  • Cover with 150-200 gr cheddar

  • Cover with spoonfuls of mashed potatoes

  • Bring it to the oven for 20-25 minutes until you have golden brown peaks

  • Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving


Enjoy!

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