Patriots Buffet Table 10/28/07 Patriots vs. Redskins
by Patriots Daily Kitchen Staff

This week the Pats are taking on the Redskins. They may claim to be from Washington but they really play in Landover, Maryland. Their regional dish is the ‘half smoke’, it’s basically a hot dog. Hot dogs aren’t bad off the grill, but most people learn to cook them around age 2.

A 4:15 game just days before November needs more than a hot dog. On the Buffet Table we’ll take that ‘half smoke’ and make a D.C. inspired chili, pour it over a dog and you’ve got the top of D.C. cuisine.

Half Smoke Chili
1.5# course ground beef
1# course ground pork

Get a london broil or some tips, and boneless pork chops or country style boneless ribs and have the butcher at your grocery store grind them for you. If you’re at a store that won’t do this find another store.

2 large cans (15-18 oz each) crushed tomatoes
2 large cans kidney beans (15-18 oz each)
1 can chipotle pepper, chipotle’s are smoked jalapenos, they have a great smoky taste with little heat, you can get them in either a jar or can, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt (kosher is best)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

1 bottle beer, a lager or a dark ale, do not use a hoppy beer. Cooking concentrates the bitterness.

Chop the onion and add to a pot with the olive oil. Saute the onions until they are clear. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute. Add the beef and pork. Once the beef is browned add the bottle of beer and use a spoon to mix it up. Make sure to scrape all the stuck on bits from the bottom of the pot and into the chili. Add your other ingredients and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stirring occasionally, cook for at least one hour.

Preparing the chili the day before game day will allow the flavors to meld. Chili is always better the second day. As it’s fully cooked, you can heat the chili in it’s pot right on a grill, even if you don’t have a side burner. Just be sure to stir so it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pot.

You can thicken the chili with masa flour or by adding shredded cheddar cheese.

Time for a drink!

Chili goes well with pale ale. The malt and hop balance in a pale handle the spices of the chili and the carbonation is able to stand up to the fat and thickness of the dish. Pale ales aren’t actually pale. The name was relative to the brown ales popular at the time. Popular in England for many years, pale ale one of the styles that American craft brewers took hold of and made their own. There are not many craft brewers in the U.S. that do not put out a pale ale. We will concentrate on the English styled pale ales here.

English pale ales are made with English ingredients, American pale ales with American ingredients. English malt is fuller flavored than American. English hops tend towards earthy, while American tend towards citrus and pine flavors. American hops usually contain more aromatic and bittering oils. English yeasts produce more esters. The most widely used American yeast aka “Chico” is one of the cleanest of all ale yeasts.

Totaling it up: English pale ales are usually malty, full of fruity esters from the yeast, and have a balanced hop flavor and bitterness. American pale ales will be on tap later in the season.

There are no distributing breweries in D.C., however close by is the Clipper City Brewing Company. Clipper City puts out a few lines, and under the brewery name is Clipper City Pale Ale. At 4.9% ABV and brewed with pale and crystal malts with Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops, this is an English style pale ale.

Locally there are many examples of the English Pale Ale. Maine in particular, boasts many pales. Based on the Ringwood yeast and Pugsley/Austin brewing system, these can be love’em or hate’em beers. Geary’s pale ale is still an English style pale but adds American Cascade hops. Shipyard Old Thumper and Export ale could both be seen as either English pale ales
or bitters (a minor distinction at their ABV). They can also be found at Federal Jack’s brewpub in Kennebunkport. Federal Jack’s adds their own ‘Taint Town Pale.

From Massachusetts we have Paper City Brewing’s Holyoke Dam ale, Ipswich Original Ale and People’s Pint Provider Pale Ale.

If you’re looking for a little variety from the D.C. area, Clipper City also has a high test line ‘Heavy Seas’. They put out a variety 12 pack that is available in Mass. This ‘sunken sampler’ includes their excellent Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale, Small Craft Warning Uber Pils, Peg Leg Imperial Stout, and depending on the season either Winter Storm Category 5 Ale, or Below Decks Barley Wine. Any of these will match with the chili hitting on different tastes. Don’t overdo it, at a minimum of 7% ABV these pack a punch.