Cooking, ETWYRT, Recipe

Eat This While You Read That: Lawdog


This one is a little different. Unlike most of my posts, there isn’t an ebook for quick and handy reading. There is, however, audiobooks, and if you are patient and plan ahead, paper. It’s worth it. Lawdog’s books are trenchant observations on the human condition… but most of all, they are laugh-out-loud fall out of your chair funny. There’s some pathos here, but far more bathos without descending so far as to be trite. I can’t recommend these books highly enough. African Adventures is the story of his coming of age years in, yes, Africa. I gave my son this book, and for a kid who really only reads history, he got into this one. I think it’s the glimpse into another world, where lizards make good drinking companions and honey badgers are treated with the respect they deserve. The Lawdog Files are tales from his years in law enforcement, seeing behind the facade into the worst… and best… of humanity. Some of the humor is dark, but I’m due for a re-read because it’s good to laugh that hard. 

And the chili is pretty darn good, too! I did take off from Lawdog’s original recipe, because I made mine in the InstantPot and let it cook long enough to really break down the flavors into a fantastic meld. I also made a slight miscalculation, but, well, you’ll see! 

You can find the whole recipe over at his blog (which is worth reading for other reasons, too). I’m going to put my version below and discuss what I oopsied on.

2 lbs hamburger 

1 lb mild italian sausage (this lent a different flavor, but I like it. Doing this again)

1 onion

6 cloves of garlic (I used up a head I’d started on. There may have been more than 6)

He calls for a chipotle cube. I hadn’t heard of that, so I grabbed a can of chilies in Adobo sauce. Now, normally in a recipe I’d use part of the can. This one? I threw it and the garlic in my foodprocessor, pulsed a few times, then it went in the pot. Which may have been a mistake. But when our friend who ate with us took his first spoonful, the look on his face makes me think not.

Chipotle and garlic. Mmmm

3 teaspoons (ish) of chili powder. I have not got good chili powder. I put in 3 tablespoons of my mildish chili. Need to get the good stuff. 

He called for smoked salt, which I didn’t have, although I am intrigued by it. I figured the can of smoked chilies made it good! I added about a half teaspoon (didn’t measure, just chucked some in) of kosher salt. 

1 can diced tomatoes and chilies

Gathering ingredients. Easy enough!

1 large (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 small (4.5 oz) can diced green chilies (I need to check Jungle Jim’s for Hatch chilies)

about 1/2 cup red wine (I used a shiraz that needed to be used up)

Now, you really ought to go read his description of how to cook this up. It’s a hoot. My version was going in the instantpot and I was working with a chunk of frozen ground beef. So I started in a big cast iron skillet, then moved the meats and onion to the instantpot once they were all browned and drained. 

I ran the chilies in adobo through the food processor with the garlic, dumped that in. Added the spice, then all the cans of tomatoes, and opted to add the wine then, rather than later in cooking as Lawdog does. Since I was going to cook under pressure and not be able to put it in the middle. 

I cooked this under high pressure for 20 minutes, with a natural release, plus some ‘I’ll get to you when we are ready’ as we had an unexpected dinner guest, so about an hour total cook time. You could do it faster, for sure. 

We served with shredded cheese, sour cream (my version is on the spicy side for me, but I have a delicate mouth), and I offered crackers but it was thick enough to not need them. 

This is a superlative bowl of red. We all very much enjoyed it, heat and all. I had some of the leftovers (it’s a good sized pot of chili!) for lunches and it was yummy. 

So grab a listen, or a book, and wrap your tummy around some warm deliciousness!

For more Eat This While You Read That recipes, check out the page. We’re up past 75 books and recipes now! From the exotic to the mundane, it’s a fun exploration of authors and food. 


2 thoughts on “Eat This While You Read That: Lawdog

  1. The chilies in adobo sauce is absolutely a good substitution for the chipotle topper, and one I use when I can’t find the topper.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. The local stores sell chipotle cubes in the Latin food aisle. I mash them up with a little water and add them to sour cream to make a spicy dip. (Knorr used to sell a chipotle soup base, but I can’t find it anymore.)
    I can also find chipotle powder, and I suspect half a teaspoon of that would be equivalent to one cube.

    If you can’t find smoked salt, I suppose you can always smoke your own. This lets you control what kind of plant material supplies the smoke. But it’s not something you want to do in the middle of cooking another recipe.

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