Chili Verde

Locally pastured pork butt and chopped yellow onions are browned in a bit of pure leaf lard, then slowly simmered for hours in a base of homemade chicken stock with roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, poblanos and garlic.  Seasoned with toasted cumin & coriander, Mexican oregano, sea salt and cracked black pepper..

Chili Verde may be served with any number of toppings or accompaniments; grated cheese, diced onions, and sour cream are common toppings, as are broken saltine crackers, corn chips, cornbread or rolled-up corn or flour tortillas, though I often just serve it as-is alongside of pot of Frijoles charros.

Chorizo Hash with a Fried Goose Egg

Freshly made Mexican chorizo is pan-fried with yellow onions, sweet peppers, chiles, fresh corn and toasted cilantro and topped with a giant fried goose egg..

Chorizo Hash with a Fried Goose Egg

For the Chorizo

1/2 pound fresh pork, about 80% lean, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 whole cloves, ground
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
a pinch or two fine sea salt

Loosely combine all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl.  Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.

For the Hash (serves 2)

1/2 pound chorizo
1 teaspoon bacon fat
2 ears-worth fresh corn kernels
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1-2 fresh jalapeños, diced
3-4 small orange or red sweet peppers, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
freshly-ground black pepper

1 local goose egg per person

Heat bacon fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add chorizo and cook until it begins to brown and crisp, then add corn, chiles, sweet peppers and cumin and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  Season to taste with black pepper and a pinch of salt if you think it needs it, then top with a fried egg.

Goose Egg vs. Chicken Egg

One goose egg provides about 20g protein, and is also a very good source of vitamins A, B6 and B12 as well as thiamin, riboflavin and folate.  Cook as you would chicken or duck eggs, simply allowing more time due to its large size.

Chili Mac for Grownups (and adventurous kids)

Chunks of local, pastured ground beef fried with yellow onions and cumin and simmered with dried chilies, garlic, Mexican oregano, halved grape tomatoes and jalapeños.  Tossed with gluten-free corn macaroni and topped with shredded cheddar, crushed yellow corn chips and fresh cilantro..

Chili Mac for Grownups (and adventurous kids)

3-4 ancho chilies, split, stemmed, seeded and toasted
2-3 New Mexico chilies, split, stemmed, seeded and toasted
filtered water as needed

1 tablespoon beef tallow or bacon drippings
1/2 pound local, pastured ground beef or bison
1/2 yellow onion cut into large dice
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
sea salt & freshly-ground black pepper

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeño, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

1 cup corn macaroni, cooked and drained

yellow corn chips, crushed
sharp cheddar cheese, grated
fresh cilantro, torn

Toast the split chilies on a dry comal or skillet over medium heat for 20 seconds on each side. Take care not to let them scorch, or they will be bitter. Allow to cool slightly, then place in a food processor or blender and crush into a fine powder. With the motor running, slowly add cool, filtered water until a thin paste is formed. Pour into a clean container and set aside.

Pinch off 1 1/2 inch pieces of ground beef, compress lightly and season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Allow to stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the tallow or bacon fat in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the chunks of ground beef to the hot fat, taking care not to crowd the pan. Allow to form a crisp crust on one side, then turn over and add the onions. Continue to cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat and onions to a plate, leaving as much fat as possible behind.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook until they begin to fall apart, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and jalapeño and sauté briefly. Add pureed chilies, oregano, browned meat and onions, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Adjust consistency with a little water if needed, then fold in cooked macaroni and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.  Correct bitterness if present with a tiny bit of honey.

Spoon mixture into individual serving dishes, and top with shredded cheese, crushed corn chips and torn, fresh cilantro.

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Austin’s Iconic Breakfast Tacos

As the New York Times recently pointed out, Austin is the center of the universe when it comes to breakfast tacos.  Trailers, bodegas and restaurants all over town serve up cheap, delicious tacos containing everything from purple corn, nopales and avocado to black beans, fried potatoes and bacon.  As amazing as the local fare is, though, its still tough to beat what you can make to your own taste at home, using fresh, local ingredients.

This 5-minute creation consists of local, pastured eggs, queso Añejo, crumbled chorizo with jalapeños, onions and grape tomatoes, fresh cilantro and hot sauce on a freshly-made cayenne tortilla.  Yum!

Homemade Breakfast Tacos

Ben Sklar for The New York Times


Foodista Food Blog of the Day Badge

Pancetta, raw milk cheddar cheese, slow-roasted tomatoes, pastured egg fried in butter and fresh sautéed jalapeños on sprouted wheat toast..

Pancetta, cheddar, slow-roasted tomatoes, fried egg & sautéed jalapeños on sprouted wheat toast

You won't find this at the drive-through..