One time I was a jalapeño burn-victim. An jalapeño burn-victim? I guess we’ll never know. Moving on, this came about from mincing around one dozen jalapeños. When I noticed my hands were on fire, my partner ran to the store to grab milk so I could soak my hands. Still burning. He ran back to the store to grab rubbing alcohol because we read it helped. Nothing. He ran back to the store to grab vaseline. Hands still engulfed in flames. The only thing that gave me a bit relief was plunging my hands into a bowl of ice water. However, as soon as the ice started to melt, the burning would flare up again. I would start to fall asleep with my hands in the bowl, the ice would melt, and the pain would jolt me awake. We replenished the bowl with ice and repeated this process for a long and torturous TEN HOURS.
It gave me a bit of PTSD and I now approach mincing jalapeños with great precaution. Friends will usually offer to mince the jalapeños when they see me side-eying the peppers. The odd time I have to do it on my own, I have a very specific method of practicing safe-mincing. I slice the pepper in half lengthwise and put the inside of the pepper facedown. Holding the outside of the pepper (the non-burny side) in place, I make a tonne of thin slices lengthwise and turn the pepper to mince the rest of the way without actually touching it, since the oils have now been released. If the pieces move, I drag them back into place with the dull side of the knife and continue to hack away hands-free. For extra precaution, I scrub my fingers immediately after with a dishsoap-drenched sponge.
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat over medium heat in half of bacon fat in a large stock pot. Do this in a couple of batches as to not crowd the pot. Remove from the pot, drain fat, and set aside.
Heat the rest of the bacon fat over medium and cook the onions with some salt and pepper for a few minutes until softened. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook another two minutes. Add in the spices and chipotle peppers and cook until fragrant – another couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes, sriracha, stock, and turn the heat up high to boil. Once boiling, add the meat and wait for the pot to come to a boil again. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 3 hours. The liquid will have reduced quite a bit and you will be very happy.
Serves 6 – 8