I bought a tri-tip roast on Friday with plans to grill it, today. I knew it wasn’t going to be the great summer-like weather we had Friday and Saturday, but – what the hell… we grill all winter long.

What I didn’t count on, however, was the totally godawful wet, piercing, bone-chilling wind.

Yesterday, it was in the mid-80s. It was hot. Like July hot. Today, it is cold. January cold.  I just couldn’t bring myself to go out there and cook it. I had been out earlier to cook a couple of hot dogs for lunch and seriously considered just leaving them there until May.

Granted, we aren’t getting pummeled with snow like the Midwest, but, still… It’s April 15th. Our average temperature for April 15th is 66°F. We’re a far cry from that right now…

So… the tri-tip was turned into a pot of chili.

I haven’t made chili in a while. It was time. And cornbread, too, because I wanted it.

As is customary, I didn’t have a recipe and I just winged it with ingredients I had on hand.

I started with lots of onions – chopped and sauteed in bacon grease. I then cut the beef in cubes and then dredged them in corn flour seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Into the pot to brown.

When it was all getting properly crusty, I stirred in more spices – chipotle powder, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, Mexican oregano, more cumin… I added a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and brought it to a boil. Then a cup or so of Passata – tomato sauce.

I covered it, lowered the heat, and let it simmer away for a few hours. When the time was right, I added three cans of drained and rinsed black beans. And a bit of S&P.

The result was pretty good, if I do say so, m’self! The meat was tender, the sauce was smoky-hot – but not too smoky hot – and a big dollop of sour cream added the needed respite.

We’re supposed to see rain and cold all day tomorrow, as well.

Fortunately, there’s enough for lunch!