In the late '80s and early '90s we lived in a house with a yard. We used a lot of hot sauces on various foods. We had and still have, quite a collection. Eventually I started growing our own peppers. In 1991 I won a Blue Ribbon for "Best of Harvest" at The Harvest Festival of The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
Occasionally, people have called me "Big Al", I think they were mocking me, but, at any rate, I never liked it very much as a nickname.
The first 2 years I bottled my sauce, I called it "Big Al's..." because I couldn't think of what else to call it. Then, one night I woke up from a dream, and discovered my inner Wolfie. I became "Maddog!". (I've never been too happy with "Alan" either, but you can talk to my Mom about that.)
The couple of bottles I produced from my garden became quite popular with my friends. In 1993 I started giving bottles of "MADDOG'S RED HOT Pepper Pauce" as Christmas presents.
In '94 I started buying peppers at the Reading Terminal Farmers' Market; eventually buying whole boxes, 30 lbs. each, as different varieties became available throughout the season. I used five different peppers and rice vinegar, and of course, secret spices. The recipe changed a little every year because I never wrote down what I did.
With a few exceptions, they have been red hot sauces.
Lisa gave me a vegetable juicer years ago to press the mash, the oils have seeped into the plastic, so it's unusable for anything else, but Boy! it does produce a wonderfully smooth sauce. I roast the semi-dry "dregs" and add the proverbial "secret spices" to make Chili Powder. 1/2 a teaspoon in a pot of chili is enough for most people, but we put 2 or 3 Tablespoons in ours.
Hey! How 'bout a recipe? Everybody likes recipies.
Here's Lisa's "Maverick Chili".
Soak 1 lb. Black beans overnight
Saute 3 large onions, set aside
Brown 2.5 lbs. Pork Shoulder (1/2" cubes)
Add Black Beans to onions and pork
Add as much MADDOG chili as you dare. (or your favorite chili powder)
Add 3 cloves chopped fresh garlic
Add 1 tsp. oregano,
Add 1 Tbs. toasted cumin, (ground to powder)
Add 3 Tbs. cocoa powder
Add Chicken Stock and Beer to cover. (half and half.)
Cook 'till beans are tender.
Add 1 lb. Chicken Thighs. (If Lisa's coming over, leave the bones in.)
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook 20 minutes.
Serve with chopped onions, chopped tomatos, and grated cheddar.
Fresh chopped Coriander (Cilantro) leaves add a little zing.
Copyright © 1999 Alan "Maddog!" MacBride
Created Sunday, December 12, 1999