Thursday, October 09, 2014

Autumn Chili

     Here's a pot of what I consider "base" chili -- what you get when you remove all non-chili ingredients:
     ...Though I admit mild Poblano pepper is pushing it.  I wanted some of that dark, almost earthy taste.  Otherwise, we've got good beef, onion, a Hatch chili and both fresh (tiny oblong, sliced) and canned (petite diced and a little tomato sauce).

     You can push this in a lot of directions with spices alone -- some cinnamon, a touch of cloves etc. and you've got Cincinnati-style, and very good it is, too.  I stuck with salt, pepper, paprika ("hot"), a little cumin, even less garlic, and some cilantro, chives and basil.  The end result is fairly mild -- I could have used another Hatch chili -- but flavorful.

     And then I added some "secret ingredient:" Peri-peri sauce.  You can think of it as South African hot sauce (since that's what it is) and even the stuff the store sells as "mild" packs a nice punch.  Lots of flavor along with, in a vaguely Worchesetershire-ish direction but not nearly as astringent.  Perked that chili right up.

     Midwesterners, used to "chili" as a mild red stew with kidney beans and elbow macaroni (plus beef, onions and tomatoes) will look askance at this.  Beans can be added if desired, and I probably will for leftovers (black or pinto beans?  H'mmm), and since I am, after all, a Midwesterner, I did serve this over some angel hair pasta, at least in my bowl.  YMMV.  --"May vary?"  This is chili; it almost certainly will vary.


Ken said...

Black beans, naturellement. They're the top, the Colosseum, the Louvre Museum...the pinnacle of beandom. :-)

Anonymous said...

Chili without beans is just spicy meat sauce for a Sloppy Joe.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Well, that looks better than the chili I had last night at the ARES net demonstration.

For one thing it looks a lot chunkier. What we had wasn't bad (in fact it was rather tasty), but it should have been classified as "soup".

On the gripping hand, it cost a buck, so it's hard to complain :)

Stuart the Viking said...


You put beans in your Sloppy Joe?



OldTexan said...

Looks good to me and chili here in Texas, by tradition and common sense, does not have beans, just a lot of meat and red dried chili and other peppers for heat with a bit of crushed tomatoes and other good spices. I have added a little Jamaica Jerk seasonings a time or two with good ripping hot results.

I don't know about the noodle stuff, I like to serve my chili over rice or just plain in a bowl. I need to use up some venison so I think a batch of chili is in order for this weekend when we watch the Oklahoma vs. Texas football game on TV.

I wonder if the ebola stuff in Dallas will affect the turnout of OU and UT fans?

Greg Tag said...


Short for Chili con Carne. Translates as " Chili (peppers) with MEAT".

No hamburger. No beans. No tomatoes. Chili is red because of crushed red chili peppers.


1) BEEF - chopped up with a knife, small chunks NOT ground. Steak or flank meat or brisket - it was whatever the chuck wagon cook or housewife had available.

2) Masa Harina - fine corn meal - adds texture and body.

3) Chilies - dried , ground. Additional peppers-Jalepeno ok, Modern addition-Hatch ok, chipotle ok.

4) Cumin aka Ground Comino
5) Onion
6) salt, pepper, (paprika ok if you have it)

Cut meat into small chunks. Brown in the pot. Then cover with water-add everything else but masa harina.

Boil down, maybe 2 hours. Then stir in masa avoiding lumps, cook another 30 mins or so...looooow heat, then add additional black peppers, salt or chili pepper. Product will be thick, rich, red and meaty...serve in a bowl-on one side chili, on other side, the pinto beans you have been cooking all day. Eat with fresh cornbread.

This basic recipe been in my family since at least 1856, where it was served at supper in Coryell County, Texas.

Plano, Texas

RandyGC said...


Chili Theological Wars aside, that looks good!

Anonymous said...

How about some nice, fat, red kidney beans? They add texture and color, and around here you can get them in a can and just add them to leftover chili.



Roberta X said...

Ed, you are either from this general neck of the woods (a rather large swath of the Midwest) or you love to stir up trouble. --Or both. ;)

Anonymous said...

First, an apology. My bad brain failed to note that you had mentioned red beans in your post. To give your comment a proper answer:

Well, yes. Both.

I was born in the Ozarks, have been almost everywhere, and have been living in Texas (near Corsicana-Wolf Brand!) for 30-some-odd years (very odd, according to some observers). I am a heretic, and I know what I like. If you try any Cajun-style cooking, red beans work in there, too.

Good eating,


P. S. I'm not entirely heretical; I am an orthodox Stonerite-gas pistons are anathema to the faithful. See, THAT'S stirrin' up trouble.

greg said...

I prefer to go more smoky than flat out hot for my chili...following an Alton Brown recipe, I use canned chipoltle's for both heat and flavor(usually two whole pepper chopped fine can give enough heat to a normal sized pot of chili). Add a NO MORE than 60% as much beans as meat(last time I did red and pinto...whatever I have the most of) and then maybe a can of Rotel...and crushed corn chips to thicken it up. That's my basic.

If I want to go Whole Hog, Brigid has a recipe for chili that CAN NOT be beat.

Anonymous said...

Chili doesn't have beans; stew does. Dad was from East Texas, & I grew up there, off and on--never completed the job.
Now that they have good piston-driven AR-type rifles, I may buy one. I don't defecate where I eat, & don't want my rifles to do so.
There: counterargument done.
--Tennessee Budd
(former USN: we use M14s).