Main Dish

Pitchfork Rib-Eye Steak with Rattlesnake Heirloom Bean Chili

Mutt Lynch Winery

9050 Windsor Rd.
Windsor, CA 95492

This is a distinctive "Western-style" take on a classic beef and bean chili. Rib-eye steaks cooked on pitchforks, a technique discovered while traveling through North Dakota, add cooking flair and richness. Rattlesnake heirloom beans take us back in time as well and add earthy texture. The chili pairs exceptionally well with our 2014 mbf Zinfandel.

Pitchfork Rib-Eye Steaks

  • 2 gallons canola or peanut oil
  • 2 pounds rib-eye steak
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
To prepare the steaks, set up a turkey fryer on a ring burner outdoors. Pour the canola oil into the fryer and heat to 360°F on a deep-frying thermometer.

Generously season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Impale the steaks from top to bottom on a pitchfork, leaving about 2 inches between them.

Carefully plunge the steaks into the hot oil and fry them until crusty and brown on the outside and cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes for medium-rare. Lift the steaks out of the hot oil and let them drain on the pitchfork for about 30 seconds, then transfer them to a platter. Use tongs to slide the steaks off the pitchfork, taking care not to touch the hot tines. 

Cut the steaks into 1-inch pieces and set aside.


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 8 cups chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup minced jalapeño chiles (about 2 large) (seeds and membranes removed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 20 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bottles (each 12 ounces) beer
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups beef broth (fat-free, lower-sodium)
  • 2 cans (each 28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 pound rattlesnake beans, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 12 tablespoons small fresh cilantro leaves
  • 12 tablespoons sour cream
  • 12 lime wedges
To prepare the chili, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour in the canola oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add  the onions, jalapeño and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. 

Add the beer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin and tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add the broth, tomatoes, beans and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is thick and the beef is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Ladle 1 cup chili into each of 12 bowls. Divide the radishes and avocados evenly among the bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Serve with the lime wedges.