Mags, John, and Layne discuss the RPG Buffet session of Vampire: The Requiem.
Every October the RPG Buffet celebrates the return of cooler weather with a chili supper. In honor of Layne running Vampire: the Requiem for us, Mags made a chili recipe she found on the blog of Justin Achilli. Mr. Achilli, as many White Wolf fans know, was a writer for White Wolf for many years, and was the lead developer for Vampire: the Requiem. Here's his recipe as he presented on his blog:
This recipe will serve eight to 10 people, or six burly dudes who gobble a lot. It's really dense, though, so those four burly dudes will probably lie around a lot afterward.
One to one and one-quarter pounds flank steak
One to one and one-quarter pounds shoulder pork chops
One and one-half tablespoons olive oil
Two cloves garlic, minced
One large white onion, coarsely chopped
One large green bell pepper, chopped
One Anaheim pepper, chopped
Two Serrano peppers, sliced
One jalapeno pepper, chopped
Four medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
One cup cheap-ass Cabernet Sauvignon
Four cans (5.5 oz.) low-salt V8 or other vegetable juice
One tbsp. black pepper
One tbsp. cumin
One tbsp. chili powder
Salt to taste (but you'll definitely need some)
The juice of one-half to one lime
Okay, fruity, here's what you do:
Cut the steak into quarter-inch cubes. Yes, you have to do this. I usually put the steak in the freezer for about 15 minutes or so to firm it up in preparation for cutting. Put that aside for a minute, and go to work on your pork chops, cutting that into three-eighths-inch cubes. Yes, you have to do this, too (and you can firm it in the freezer the same way). Now coat a frying pan with the cooking spray and brown the beef. Set that aside, clean and then coat the pan with cooking spray again, and whiten up the pork over medium-high heat. Set that aside, too. I'm an utter carnivore, so I tend toward using the three pounds total of meat, but two will tide you over, believe me.
In a big ol' stock pot, dump in your olive oil and make sure it coats the bottom. Don't use your good, extra-virgin olive oil; just use regular olive oil, because you won't be able to taste it under all the other ingredients. Heat the olive oil to medium-high and toss in the garlic, onion, and all the peppers. Stir it every three minutes, three to five times, until your onions are translucent. Put the top on the stock pot, turn the heat down to medium, and let that mess stew in its own goodness for another five to seven minutes. You will note that your kitchen smells maximum awesome -- this is a good thing. If you're cooking for someone you live with or who will be in the house for a long time while you're preparing this, that person will make some sexy eyes at you because it smells so good. Don't let that person know, but you're just getting started. Once it gets all hissy, toss in your tomatoes, put the top back on, and let the tomatoes soften for about six minutes.
Add the meat, beef first. Let the beef have a minute or two of in-the-pot anger, then add the pork for another two minutes. Stir with a broken-off two-by-four that has a nail in it, a broom handle used to kill a man, or a rowboat oar with which you usually menace people from the side of the road.
Dump in the cheap-ass Cab. Don't get good wine, for the same reason you're not using your good olive oil. I used a five-dollar bottle of wine last time I made this and I had enough left over for beef stew afterward. Also, don't tell anyone you use wine in this recipe. Chili fans think they're all tough shit because they pour beer in their concoctions. While beer certainly has a place in chili, this time the red wine is going to help your steak and pork by bringing out their robust flavors, even underneath all the other crap we're simmering here. Let the pot hiss at you some more, and when the wine's all a-boilin', pour in the vegetable juice. Turn up the heat and bring the
mess to a livid boil.
In go the black pepper, cumin and chili powder, and you'd better stir, fool. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and go screw around for an hour and a half. Return at random times to stir, making sure to break up any tomato remains during those first 45 minutes.
Leave the house and come back. Smell how rad that is? Good work, soldier!
Toward the end of the hour and a half -- say, with 10 minutes or so left, add the salt a little bit at a time until it hits the flavor you want. Don't just dump in a bunch of salt all at once because if you use too much, you can't take it out and all your efforts will have
been for naught. Way to go, dummy.
Right before you serve the chili, add the lime juice, stirring it into the pot of goo.
Optionally, you may wish to top servings with some sharp cheddar cheese, some chopped red onion, and/or some oyster crackers. On the other hand, you can serve it plain with just a sprig of curly parsley for garnish.
If you want hotter chili, leave the jalapeno and Anaheim pepper unseeded -- just pop the seeds in there with the whole mess. Another option is to double the amount of peppers involved (other than the green bell pepper). You can also use a spicy version of the V8, but beware because it's loaded with sodium. You might also want to use a little more black pepper or another clove of garlic. I don't recommend adding more cumin or chili powder because all it takes is one mote too much and they overwhelm the whole affair.
If you want to make this stuff on the cheap -- you can eat on it for a week if you're by yourself -- I recommend substituting ground beef and ground turkey breast instead of the flank steak and pork chops. You're only going to save two or three dollars, though, so you're best off doing the better grade meat. If you're the kind of person who likes beans in his chili**, definitely go with the ground beef and turkey, though. When you turn the heat down after adding the spices, add one 14.5-oz. can of dark kidney beans and one 14.5-oz. can of black beans. The beans will stretch out the life of your chili even longer.
And there you have it. Chili always improves the second day, so if you have a chance to make this in advance and serve it a day after, by all means do it.
This chili is particularly good with Negra Modelo or Shiner Bock. It's also fine with Budweiser (not Bud Light) or my personal favorite, Pabst Blue Ribbon.
* No Superbowl should ever be fouled by the presence of the Carolina Panthers, but since Philly couldn't get its act together, we're cursed to see it happen this year. BOO TO THAT.
** Strictly speaking, chili doesn't have beans. Poor people use beans instead of more good stuff as filler in chili, which actually becomes soup with the beans' addition.
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