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Dec 28, 2006 12:10 AM

Chili Recipe

Here is a classic Chili recipe from
(A good site with a variety of chili recipes and good links.
)Note: I like to use Mexican Oregano, too.

Old Buffalo Breath Chili (1985)
5 pounds chuck roast
8 cloves garlic -- crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon cumin seeds -- toasted and ground
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons mild chile
2 tablespoons hot chile
beef broth
masa harina
small whole dried piquin chiles
salt -- to taste
This writer's own. On the Texas range, firewood meant mesquite. Not only did the trail cook use it for his own pit cooking, but the ranch cook used it to fire his wood stove. Until it was replaced with gas and electric, mesquite-flavored grilling dominated rural Texas cooking with its distinctive sweet savor. The meat rof this chili is seared over charcoal where mesquite chips have been set to flame (the taste of mesquite charcoal is indistinguishable from that of any other hardwood), which gives the resulting chili a haunting hint of smoke -- and without tasting a bit like barbecue, since there is no onion or tomato in it, none at all.

For the fire: mesquite wood chips and hardwood charcoal.

For the Rub: 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and chili powder.

The chuck roast should be as lean as possible and cut at least three inches thick. Two or three hours before you plan to make the chili, rub the meat all over with a mash of crushed garlic and salt then sprinkle it with chili powder to coat it lightly. Loosely cover it with plastic and set it aside.
Fire up enough hardwood charcoal to sear the meat in an outdoor grill, preferably one with a cover. At the same time, soak a few handfuls of the mesquite chips in the water. When the coals are covered with gray ash, spread them out evenly, and scatter the soaked mesquite chips over them. Then immediately set the meat on a grill over the smoke, about an inch from the coals. Cover the grill and adjust the dampers to maintain a slow, steady heat. Let meat sear for about 12 minutes (this is meant to flavor, not to cook the meat) and turn over to sear the other side for the same amount of time. Remove it from the heat, saving any juices on its surface, and transfer to the refrigerator. Let it cool thoroughly, about one hour.
After the meat has cooled, trim away any surface fat or cartilage. With a sharp knive, cube the meat into the smallest pieces you have patience for, saving all juices. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over moderate heat. Stir in the garlic and saute until it turns translucent. Stir in the meat and all reserved meat juices, adding just enough beef broth to cover, or about one cup. Pour in the lime juice and sprinkle in the rest of the seasonings, stirring and tasting as you go. Crumble in a few piquins or other fiery chiles to bring the heat up to taste. However, do not try to adjust the seasoning to perfection right now; it's easy to ruin a chili by correcting the flavors too soon -- the long cooking will smooth and sweeten it.

Lower the heat to as low as possible. If the pot is left to boil, the meat will toughen. Every half hour or so after the first hour, taste for seasoning, adjusting and thickening with the masa harina a teaspoonful at a time. The chili should be about ready to eat in three hours, although it will benefit from a night's aging in the refrigerator.

Serve it simmering in large, heavy bowls with an ample supply of soda crackers and a side of beans, but not much else except, maybe, hot, black coffee or quart-sized glasses of iced tea or a few frosty bottles of your favorite beer. And, after a good long while, push things aside, lean back in your chair, and start arguing.

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  1. OK, Chilihounds, here is a good green chile recipe to enjoy.
    Also, you can easily grow your own chili peppers in a container garden or window box!


    6 - 8 fresh long green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeds removed
    and cut into coarse chunks (note 1)
    1 medium onion, chopped fine
    3 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 tsp oregano
    1 tsp cumin
    1 lb lean pork, cut into 1" cubes
    Juice of 1/2 lime
    Up to 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
    Salt, black pepper, and hot green chiles to taste (see note 2)
    1 tblsp olive oil

    Heat Dutch oven or medium saucepan over high. Saute onion, garlic,
    oregano and cumin until onion is clear. Add green chiles, saute and
    stir. Add pork cubes and stir to seize all sides of the pork; add lime
    juice and mix.

    Now add chicken stock, stopping when most of the pork cubes are covered
    with liquid. Stir well, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and set the
    timer for 30 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure the stuff isn't
    scorching on the bottom. When the timer goes off, check the consistency
    and either add more stock if it's gotten thicker/drier than you like it,
    or raise the heat and cook uncovered to thicken if it's too runny. Add
    salt and black pepper now.

    Serve with fresh corn tortillas, a pepper-garlic-onion garnish I'll
    describe shortly, and lots of cold beer, horchata, or jamaica. You can
    also serve this with sour cream, which is nice.

    I've taken to chopping up fresh chiles to make my own food hotter, since
    the kids max out at Anaheim chiles. My base mild mix is to cut up an
    ancho or poblano chile (the dark green glossy ones, triangular and
    medium-pungent) into 1/4" dice, as well as about a quarter of an onion
    and a clove of garlic. Add a little olive oil and some dried oregano,
    stir well and salt to taste. Sprinkle this on the chile verde, roll it
    up in your tortillas, use it in omelettes or even on Texas-style chili.

    1. Long green chiles: if you can't find them fresh, you can use canned
    but the taste will be slightly different; the canned variety add lots of
    citric acid as a preservative. You might want to cut down on the lime
    in that event. I used fresh Anaheim chiles from my garden last year,
    and will do so again this year as the Anaheim is producing earliest
    (four chiles!) but I'm anxious for my New Mexico varieties to get going.
    The original poster is in the center of the universe for this stuff,
    though, and frankly you'd probably get better recipes asking your
    co-workers, fellow students, or the janitorial staff there than the net;
    if you do, please post it! :-)

    2. Hot chiles: The Anaheims are pretty mild. Some people like to add
    jalapenos to this, but I preferred the serranos when we had the pepper
    garden last year. I liked six Anaheims and six serranos when it was
    just for me and Kim, but the girls wouldn't touch it, which is why I
    started making the garnish. You can also garnish with chopped fresh
    cilantro or epazote if you can find it; we're growing that and I love it
    so far, it's like a cross between cilantro and sorrel in flavor.

    (From Scott Fisher)

    1. Munch Kin, what you described would be labeled "Chile Colorado" in these parts (West Coast), not "chili", and your Green chile stew we call "Chile Verde".

      Hereabouts, chili is something containing meat, tomatoes, onion, chile powder and herbs, and (usually) beans. A cheap one-dish meal. Chile Colorado is a separate, but related, thing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sharuf

        I posted these recipes, initially, on the Philadelphia board. The thread began with a query on where to get chili in philly. The moderators moved it here, since we began to discuss cooking chili, as opposed to trying to locate Colorado or Verde at a local, Southeastern Pennsylvania restaurant.

        Several people pointed out that "real chili" is not something you normally find at a Mexican restaurant in the Philly area. (You also don't usually find tacos de lengua, or cabrito at a suburban Philly Tex-Mex place, either.)

        I responded that red and green chili (Colorado and Verde) were what I preferred, as opposed to ground beef cooked with tomatoes and canned beans. (Just my preference, since that is how I was taught to cook it. Sort of similar to not defining BBQ as steamed shredded pork in vineger sauce, which is what it usually is around here.)

        I also mentioned that many folks like their chili served with pinto beans on-the-side, as opposed to a one dish meal. Many of my neighbors, here in the Northeast, it seems, have not had the opportunity to try anything except the "one-dish" variety, so I was attempting to throw out some other options that could be made at home. I even included a Cincinatti (with beans & ground beef) chili for those who prefer that type, but it never made it over to this thread, it still is on our local board.

        I love the Philly area, it has great food. I am always excited to share my love of Mexican food with the local chowhounds. In return, I find out where to eat pizza and cheesesteaks!

      2. Some people might need to be informed that Mexican oregano is not the same as the Mediterranean stuff used in Italian cooking.

        Mexican oregano is a verbena (Lippia graveolens), the other stuff is a mint (Origanum vulgare).

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChiliDude

          That is an important point. Thanks for mentioning it, ChiliDude. They are completely different, even though they share the name oregano.

          When I first moved to the Philly area I used to mail order spices (except for Italian, of course!) but now you can find most of the them locally. Reading Terminal in Philly, or out near Reading there are lots of small Mexican groceries, these days.