Moose Chili and Cornbread
I originally thought I had ground beef in the freezer, but when I pulled out the package the other day to thaw, I realized it was moose that my co-worker Angee had given me. Last year, her hunting-obsessed husband convinced her to go for a moose tag. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the civic laws of hunting, there are only a certain number of tags available each year, and they are awarded on a lottery basis. You are only allowed to draw one moose tag in your lifetime, so if you get one, you better hope your hunting trip goes well or else... too bad. So Frank (Angee's husband) told Angee, a stoic non-hunter, "Just go for it honey - what are the odds? You probably won't get it... but it would be really cool if you did." Angee was not thrilled about it, but thought if she at least tried to go for the tag, it would satisfy Frank and she wouldn't have to go hunting for another year. Well... Angee got a tag. And Angee went hunting. And Angee shot her own moose.
So, back to the package in my freezer. The stamp on it said "__ound Steak Moose". I assumed it was "Ground Steak Moose". Don't ask me why I thought it would be a ground steak, since they are literal opposites of each other (and I should know better, having grown up with home-raised beef). I think my brain played a trick on me because I was looking for ground beef, but this was actually "Round Steak Moose". Anyway, after a bit of thawing and sawing (sorry! moose can be a bit tough), it became perfect chili meat.
This was my first attempt at chili, and it turned out pretty well, other than the hot factor. I let the meat sear a little too long and I ended up burning a little bit on the bottom of the pot. I also added too many spicy ingredients - 1) diced pepper, 2) chili beans with -duh- chili in them, 3) diced "chili cuts" tomatoes, also with chilies in them, not to mention 4) the actual chili powder itself (I used straight cayenne, although only half as much as the recipe stated). Add these to the diced green chilies in the cornbread, and I had one hot kitchen! I cobbled together bits and pieces of 3 different chili recipes, so no wonder I ended up doubling (tripling? quadrupling?) the spice factor in tonight's dinner!
I'm wondering if I should even try bringing this to work next week. Everyone will think I have a really frustrating assignment given the amount of tears rolling down my cheeks. But wait - doesn't capsaicin cause endorphin release? I think I've heard that before. In that case I should be happy as a clam by now. A very hot, spicy clam.