~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ochoco Ranger Cabin

Howdy folks...this here's Ranger Darryl checking in from the Ochoco National Forest in Oregon.  We rented a ranger cabin about 25 miles east of Prineville into the mountains. No cell service, no phones, no TV so I had to send this post in by way of morris code and ham radio.

This place is wild...wild horses...wildflowers...all out in the wild west.

And what better to have for dinner in a place like this...clean air, big Ponderosa and Lodgepole pines, juniper trees, sagebrush, rushing rivers...and a peaceful silence...than chili cooked outdoors and a cast iron dutch oven?

Now I know, we all have cooked chili, so this post is no big deal. Same stuff...just different approach.

One reason to come here is the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument...a place we have never been to. I am glad we went.

The painted hills unit was our favorite

The cabin has a make shift fire pit out back...a farmers tractor plow disc welded onto a tire rim. I first got the coals going.

I got out all my ingredients...kidney beans, chili beans, diced tomatoes with green chilies, tomato sauce, a pound of ground beef, onion, garlic, cumin, mexican oregano, sage, salt, pepper and of course chili powder. I pre-mixed at home some standard chili powder, ancho and Gebhardt's brand. Gebhardt's is long used by competition chili cook-offs. I also brought along some masa flour to be used as a thickening agent if needed.

I diced up the onion and mixed up garlic...tossed it in with some oil and then added the beef. Once that was well on it's way, I added the spices. Doing it at this moment will "bloom" the spices which will help enhance and push up the spices flavors.


I dumped in everything else, set the lid on and let it go...the longer the better.
Again, no big deal here...just chili burbling' away on the campfire. Mrs. Blogger Man is inside whipping up some cornbread for us to drizzle honey over.

Wide open spaces

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