With all due respect to vegetarians, Fourth of July grub at my house has to hit several key criteria.
It must be meaty. It must be bold. It must pair nicely with beer and wine and cocktails. It must easily feed a crowd. It must be easy to prepare. It must be easy to eat outside. And did I mention it has to be meaty?
Which is why my July 4 gatherings always involve an array of burgers and sausages and hot dogs, as well as some assortment of steak tips and pulled pork. All big and bold and meaty and do-ahead-easy.
But this year I wanted to throw something new into the mix, something that still hit all my must-haves, but that’s a little outside the usual. And that’s how I came up with this recipe for sweet-and-tangy chili grinders. It’s a basic beef and bean chili with a rich-and-sweet sauce that’s spooned onto slabs of baguette, then topped with cheese.
What I particularly like about this recipe is that the chili can be prepped the day before, then simply reheated just before serving.
And since I already have the grill going for the rest of the meal, I like to assemble the grinders, then set them over the flames for a few minutes to toast the baguette and melt the cheese.
SWEET-AND-TANGY CHILI GRINDERS
Can’t fine Peppadew peppers? Substitute mild banana peppers, which are sold jarred near the pickles.
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)
• 14-ounce jar mild Peppadew peppers (drained)
• 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
• 6-ounce can tomato paste
• 2 medium yellow onions, quartered
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
• 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks