Chili for the Championship

Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist; Hadas Smirnoff. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgepeth.

Many will make chili (above) today, one of the great foods of National Football League cuisine, up there with wings and nachos. Ali Slagle’s recipe is top-drawer: deep in flavor, spice and smokiness, and fairly easy to prepare. I like to make it with coarsely ground beef from the butcher instead of the more finely cut stuff you get at the supermarket, but that’s just me being fancy. Make it with whatever meat you like — so long as it’s decently fatty, to bring out the taste of the aromatics. Chili’s a good way to guarantee a win during the Super Bowl, whichever team you’re rooting for.

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But I had the good fortune to run into the Jamaica-born chef Darian Bryan the other day, and we fell into a discussion of oxtail stew that led me to make the dish that very night, and to think it’d be perfect championship fare today. I learned to stew oxtails from Velma Hawthorne, the executive chef of the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill in New York, who builds the stew on a foundation of burnt sugar, or browning sauce. It is fantastic, but the process can be hell on a pot. Bryan laughed when I said that and told me it was just fine to substitute a commercial browning sauce instead — something like Kitchen Bouquet, available in most grocery stores. I did and the result was transcendent.

As for the rest of the week. …


You don’t need a proper recipe to make my bulgogi-style tofu, just some gochujang, ssamjang and a bunch of pantry staples, plus some lettuce for wrapping the crisp bits of fiery tofu and a bowl of rice. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a note Marissa, a reader, left below my instructions: “The tofu was crisp and the flavor divine. Definitely a new favorite.”

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