Mince: Chili Edition


This is actually a Heston Blumenthal chili recipe lazily executed by me.  I customized it to suit the family.  We use grass-fed beef from our farm Grasspunk.  I actually don’t even remember the recipe.  It goes a little something like this.

Chop some onions.

I finely dice my onions if I’m making this for my son Otto, otherwise he’ll pick each and every onion out griping at me the whole time.  Tonight’s chili was for grownups, so I did big fat chunks as quickly as possible.


Then prepare some garlic.

I’m not a garlic basher.  I think that’s a sad way to go if you’re a garlic.  I like to chop off the top and peel.  It falls off similarly to the garlic bash method.  Then I thinly slice.  One could crush the garlic into the chili.  Mr. K will tell me that crushing is the best way.  I will say, “no it’s not.” He’ll say, “yes it is.” Me, “no it’s not.” He, “yes it is.” “No it’s not.” “Yes, it is”  We were in our late thirties at the time of that conversation.

It’s a matter of preference.  For this chili, I like the subtle garlic flavor with the thinly sliced texture.


Duck fat in.  Butter nub in.

Ready to gently bubble the onions and garlic into translucent bliss.  Onions and Garlic go in the pan you want your chili to end up in.


A star anise is added.

I quadrupled the recipe, so you will see a few stars in there.  I think you can over anise, so one is sufficient.  Two is too much.


While that works, brown your mince.


Our mince comes in burgers.  Two pack is .250 kg.  Crack ’em open and put them in your browning fry pan that is full of duck fat.  We love our duck fat.  Tallow or lard will also be lovely.

They look like this at first.


Then after a bit of a tonging.


Then the duck fat is doing its job.


Then when it’s brown, add the wine.


The Madiran is for the chef.  The bucky-fiddy Cahors is for the chili.


Onions look lovely.  Time for tomato paste.


Add pastechili

Mix it all about.  Let that make friends until the paste goes “brick red.”

I believe that’s what the original recipe said.  Because every time I get to this step I start singing, “she’s a brick [beat beat beat] house. Shake it down. Shake it down. Shake it down now!”

Add the meat.


Stir it up.  Little darling.


Add toms.


Add heat.

I used a little diddy I call Substance P.


Add beef broth.  Do some salt and pep.  Then, partially cover and let it be.  Let it be chili for some minutes.


Give is a taste.  More salt.


Scoop or slop into a bowl.  Add some cheddar cheese, some creme fraiche, some more Substance P.  Sit down.  Enjoy.

This is the recipe I follow:
chiliI need to know the quantities of stuff and then the order they go in.  The rest I remember.  You can also add beans.  Beans don’t go well in our family.

For whatever reason or in a quick dash for a piece of paper, on the back of my chili recipe is a recipe for cement.  I think that making cement and eating chili are a nice combo.  You can also read some French lesson I failed.


Shake it down now:

Mince: Gascon Spring Roll Edition


I suppose these are technically Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls, though beyond using Vietnamese rice wraps and Vietnamese rice noodles, I sort of went with it Gascon style.

Get the filling started.  Boil the water for the noodles.


  • Local Grass-fed Mince
  • Duck Fat
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Fish Sauce
  • Grass-fed beef broth, what, like two cups?

Load up the pan with some duck fat and chuck in your mince.


DSC_0233Add verte-blanc-orange when things seem all browny.



After the mirepoix gets acquainted, add a splash of fish sauce, the beef broth and begin prep for the wrapping.

Pull out a galettes de riz sized bowl and fill it with warm water.  By this time, your noodle water should be ready.  Get the colander ready and then boil your noodles.  Quick! take them out.  They don’t need long.DSC_0248

With the noodles done and the filling done, you should be ready to roll.


Rice wrap has a quick bath in warm.


Then, put on a plate for beef-noodle innards with a roll to follow.


First beef filling.


Then, some noodles.


A snuggy roll.  Snug it in nice and tight.


Another flip.

Then a tuck on both ends.  Line them up on some parchment paper ready for frying.  This time, in duck fat. Ah yeah!

DSC_0279This sort of food works much better when friends and family help out.  I found it to be a lot of work all by myself.  I imagined this dish coming about in a time when family members lived close and popped by for some tea.  They see you cooking and start mumbling criticisms about how you’re doing it all wrong.  You look around for something to distract the taunting, see rice wraps, tell them, “hey! why don’t you stuff it!”  Then the afternoon unfolds in merriment and gossip with a lovely fried dumpling at the end.

DSC_0270We served with Yummy Sauce and Substance P goob.  Yummy Sauce is something that involves most of MSG’s friends and neighbors, namely, fish sauce, anchovy and tomato pastey, that I picked up at the market from the Asian stall dude.  Substance P goob is: soy sauce, Substance P and a dash of Yummy Sauce.

I was going to finish with a lovely shot of Gascon Spring Rolls on a perfectly photo fluffed plating with garnish.  When I turned around to grab a roll for its plating, they were gone.  All I have is this little buddy I sampled before frying the lot.  Noodles hanging out, next to day old Einkorn bread, snuggled against fish sauce, P goob all over the place.   It was fantastic!