Texas Rattlesnake ChiliSubmitted by Quartermain at 2012-05-07 15:20:35 EDT
Rating: 1.0 on 9 ratings (20 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
When I used to live down in Oklahoma, you'd see a lot of rattlesnakes. I don't mean to say they were everywhere, like it was the southwestern version of The Well of Souls or something, but they weren't unheard of in that locale, either. They used to do something called The Rattlesnake Roundup, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It's kind of like a county fair with a snake theme running through it. You could buy snakeskin boots, belts, wallets, hatbands, whatever-the-hell. There were demonstrations about what to do if you're out camping and wake up to find a rattler has crawled into your sleeping bag. Believe it or not, you do have a small range of behavioral options there, but none of them involve freaking out, screaming like a little girl or, really, sudden movements of any kind. There would a Rattlesnake Queen(aka Snake Charming Queen, which title inspired the sort of jokes I was too young for back then, but have come to understand with a vengeance since.)
Eventually, all the snakes that had been rounded up would be killed, skinned, and et. Interesting linguistical note here: Much like how Scott talks about the difference between pork and swine in Ivanhoe, 'eaten' is what happens to food at restaurants and dinner parties. When you buy wild game on a stick or in a bag from a man with a cart, it get 'et.' You could get it batter-fried, or BBQ'ed, or grilled, or in chili. Which brings us to the point of this little dissertation. Holidays usually involve parties, and some times those parties involve pot-luck. Instead of bringing the same boring bags of ice or potato chips you usually bring, here's something you can easily make that generally goes over pretty good. Or at least will add a little excitement to the evening, especially if you don't tell people it's rattlesnake until after they've eaten it.
Texas Rattlesnake Chili
N.B. I: If you live in a locale where snakes are not as plentiful or you don't like the idea of snake in your chili, you can substitute beef, or goat, or chicken, or lamb, or whatever-the-hell. Also, this will end being pretty spicy, so be told.
N.B. II: You'll notice there are no beans in this recipe. That's because beans don't belong in chili anymore than poker belongs on ESPN. You know who puts beans in chili? Communists and people who don't love Jesus, that's who.
1 ½ Rattlesnake chunks
2 tblsp of cumin
2 tblsp of paprika
1 tblsp of cayenne
1 cup minced onion
½ cup of chopped green pepper (optional)
2 tblsp minced garlic
1 tblsp fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp of salt
½ of dried basil, crushed
1 tblsp California chili powder (hot)
1 tblsp Gebhardt chili powder
1 tblsp Hot New Mexico chili powder
1 16 oz. can of tomatoes cut up
2 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 tsp of brown sugar
Tabasco sauce to taste
½ cup water
It's best if you slow cook it all day in a crock-pot. Stir it occasionally, just to let it know you've not forgotten it. Ten minutes or so before serving, add in the brown sugar and Tabasco. You can serve it with cheese and sour cream and/or cottage cheese. Add some biscuits or cornbread if you're feeling ambitious.