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Divine Chili: The Madrigal

Words and Music: ©2000 by Tom Smith
I make some kick-ass chili. Thick, meaty, loads of flavor, just enough to bring heat to your face without burning your tongue. One day, I was going over the recipe, and imagined it being sung as a madrigal. Go figure. This and "Peter Lorre" are the lyrics most likely to be revised at any given moment.

Into your best Dutch oven, put three pounds of ground meat,
Ground round is quite acceptable, but sirloin can't be beat.
Add four shakes of Worcestshire sauce, one onion finely chopped,
A chopped red pepper, four minced cloves of garlic right on top,
Cook over medium-high heat, while stirring frequently,
Until the beef is browned, and then you drain it thoroughly.

Back into the Dutch oven, all of this good stuff goes,
Then add three pounds of chopped vine-ripened plum tomatoes,
If you can't get them fresh, four cans of chopped will nicely do,
Brooks or Del Monte Chili Style, just dump them in the stew.
If using canned tomatoes, to strengthen up the taste,
Just add a six-ounce can of reduced-salt tomato paste.

Now add a cup of water, and two ounces of wine --
Be sure you like the flavor, either white or red is fine,
Three tablespoons of chili powder, one teaspoon hot sauce,
And two teaspoons ground cinnamon to bring the taste across.
Some extra garlic powder, two teaspoons does the trick,
Then simmer for at least ten minutes, till it's nice and thick.

Now this last part is optional, some folks think it's obscene
To sully perfect chili with a single kidney bean,
But if you really like them, drain one fifteen-ounce can
Of Van Camp's Dark Red Kidney Beans, and add them to the pan.
Let simmer for just five more minutes, and then serve with pride,
Plus cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and fresh corn bread on the side.

Serves... ten.

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