Photos by: Jeffrey Skillings (Brown) and Steve Giralt (Chili)
Country music star Zac Brown shares his favorite fireside recipe
When I was growing up, my dad and I would go hunting and camping every weekend. Like everyone in my family, he is an amazing cook, and I’ve tried to learn a lot from all of them. But I don’t like cooking just for myself; I enjoy feeding other people, particularly outdoors. There’s something so comforting about eating outside, especially when there’s nice fall weather, like now. I have an outdoor kitchen at home in Georgia, and I try to never eat inside.
is an amalgam of all the chilies I’ve had over the past 10 years. Putting it together is a big, rich labor of love. I’ve made it many times in one pot over a campfire, first cooking all the meats down, then pouring off the fat before everything else goes in to simmer. I imagine having a bowl while sitting by a blaze, a Kristofferson song playing out on crisp Black Diamond Strings while the crickets chime in. Later, frogs will do a cover of the Oak Ridge Boys as cedar logs crackle in the fire. That’s when the world feels right.
1 cup diced white onion
1 lb. beef-tenderloin tips, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 lbs. ground bison (If unavailable, substitute ground beef.)
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 Tbsp olive oil
Drain the grease. Then add the following:
1 Tbsp masa flour
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 14.5-oz. can organic beef stock
2 14.5-oz. cans organic chicken stock
1 8-oz. can organic tomato sauce
1 4-oz. can mild diced green chilies
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 fresh jalapeño pepper,
1 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp organic chili powder
Simmer 1 hour. Then add:
4 oz. organic tomato sauce
4 Tbsp organic chili powder
2 Tbsp mild chili powder
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Tabasco
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 15.5-oz. cans low-sodium pinto beans, drained
2 15.5-oz. cans low-sodium kidney beans, drained
Simmer 45 minutes and eat.
Serves 8. Per serving: 600 calories, 18g fat, 110mg cholesterol, 870mg sodium, 56g carbs, 58g protein.
- This time of year, I often add bittersweet chocolate (try 72% or more cacao) for a different twist on this chili.
- Every food lover should invest in a cast-iron pot. They are practically indestructible and can be used indoors and out.
This fall, Brown released both an album, You Get What You Give, and a cookbook, Southern Ground ($32/ zacbrownband.com). His recipes for collard greens and cobbler round out the meal.
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