Back when I was just beginning in the food game, I worked with an exceptional chef that made an incredible chili for one of the hotel’s restaurants. It was delicious and green. It was made with chunks of meat. It would set your hair on fire.
It was hot with a capital OH MY GOD! …I think there was a gallon of roasted jalapenos in the pot., no lie.
Chef guarded that recipe with his life, I believe it had won some awards over the years and he just never trusted anyone else to make it.
Suffice it to say, I never got the recipe.
Over the years I’ve tried to duplicate the bowl of jet fuel, but time passed, deadened taste-buds, and memory slippage have gotten the best of me and the best I can recall are the three descriptives already stated.
Want to start a good fight in a room full of strangers? State loudly that real chili has beans in it.
In all actuality, it doesn’t.
Chili is: Meat / Heat / Spice
But, depending on where you’re from, what package your mom opened up, what that place served the first time you ate it – that’s what your perception of chili is. And chili purists will take you to the carpet if you come within 100 yards of a chili pot with a can of beans.
Here at Turtle Creek, we’re 50/50 on the matter; Jane is adamantly against it. And me? I like a little starch with my fire.
So in order to satisfy both, I’ve come up with a little trick so everyone can get what they want without relegating the bean folks to plopping bland, uninteresting, flaccid beans in a bowl of cooked chili…..
and the purists wont be eyeing the oak out back for a good hangin‘ branch.
Red Chili (and some beans)
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Flour
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano (Mexican, if Possible)
1 Tablespoon Seasoned Salt
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Ancho Chili – Minced
1 14 ounce Can Stewed Tomatoes
1 Large Onion – Chopped
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
1 Cup Sweet Pepper – Diced
1 Red Jalapeno – Seeded and Minced
(or use 2 of the pickled sweet cherry bomb peppers found at the market)
1 1/2 Pound Chuck Roast – Cubed
1/2 Pound Ground Pork
2 Tablespoons Oil
1 14 ounce Can Red Kidney Beans
Small Sauce Pan
Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside
Over medium high heat, add the oil, onions, and peppers to the dutch oven – saute until soft
Add the cubed beef and ground pork and brown
Add the seasoning mix and stir well to combine
Add the stewed tomatoes, garlic, and minced chili; bring to a boil
Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours
About 1/2 way through ,skim the chili and retain the skimmed oil
In a small sauce pan, heat the retained oil
Add the kidney beans and bring to a boil
Reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes
Serve alongside the chili for those non-chili purists that like a little bean in the works.