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Chili made from jerky.

Have any of you guys ever made chili like that? I know it can be done but I'd probably have to track down some good jerky.

I'd what basically slow cook the jerky and some chile peppers and tomatos?

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  1. Hmmm...not sure why I laughed as a first response. But if you think about it, it's a funny idea. Are you a cowboy, hooliganyouth? Rehydrating dehydrated meat? It strikes me as a project that would have occurred to one of drunker chili head friends, I will ask around.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ballulah

      Actually..... Chili descends from a Northern Mexican dish called Chilorio that is based on dried meat (similar to what is used in Machaca)... and is quite delicious. In fact the "Chili" is a really just a soupy sauce meant to rehydrate the meat.

      One of the few traditional Burritos in Mexico is an 8inch handmade flour tortilla thinly stuffed with Chilorio... and its quite tastey... much better than the typically mediocre Mission Style Burritos we typically eat north of the border.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        I was just teasing Mr. Hooligan. I love food history, especially chili history, thanks for that. It makes sense since drying would have been a way to preserve the meat pre-refrigeration and use it longer. Would have been great for cowboys and their chuck wagons on the trail for weeks on end. (And I too am not a fan of Mission style burritos, no thanks!)

        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          I haven't Machaca is ages. There use to be an Alberto's in Oceanside near the back gate of Camp Pendleton. I lived across the street and would go in at zero dark thirty and I could always count on the guys to make machaca and egg burritos.

          You have inspired me to make my own.

        2. re: ballulah

          I'm about as much cowboy as astronaut. I've been living in Texas for almost eight years and I can't bring myself to say "y'all". I still stick with my NE "you guys".

        3. I've made chili from dried African game meat (sustainably harvested from Kenya and Ethiopia). Very good. African game meats are too tough and dry to eat "as is".

          1. Stews from dried meat would seem a natural from dried bean and capsicum cultures. But it will surprise you how much a hard-dried jerky will resist rehydration. Native cultures used to pound it hard in a mortar prior to slowly stewing in leather or clays vessels with immersed hot stones. The extra effort required to prepare dried meat protein for toothless elders put them into a distinct class in some socieities

            A report on your results would be fun. Maybe pre-soak and slap the jerky into a food processor? To what extent will the muscle fibers remain intact? Length of fiber will be an important component.

            Remember that today's "jerky" can often be a paltry comparison to the real archaic thing that was dried hard to totally resist microbial deterioration. Slim Jims and the popular flexible products ain't real jerky.

            3 Replies
            1. re: FoodFuser

              Last night (4/24)- Good Eats had a Jerky episode!
              Alton finished the show with a Camping/Cowboy stew- he steeped his jerky (made from completely dessicated flank steak) while starting an aromatic "soup." The Jerky still looked a bit leathery, but the broth made from the steeping was probalby delicious!
              Like Kleinfortless sais below, store bought is probably an expensive way to test the reciepe- Aparently, cellulose fiber airfilters bungee-corded to a box fan are the way to go! Cost of meat + Time < Packaged Jerky.

              1. re: lunchbox

                Of course Mr. Brown did a show about jerky. I swear the man monitors my brain waves.

              2. re: FoodFuser

                Good grief - I had a Slim Jim for the first time in years not that long ago and my flesh crawled. Then I ate another one and I was okay. Then I got a stomach ache. Serves me right for eating something with "Mechanically Seperated Chicken" in it.

                I might have to go out to the country to find real jerky instead of crummy stuff sold in stores.

              3. hooligan-
                are you thinking of making a whole pot based on jerky meat or just flavoring chile with jerky?...good jerkies that i've seen online are very expensive and sold in small packs...what about dried chorizo ( you could oven dry them yourself) ?

                3 Replies
                1. re: kleinfortlee

                  I was thinking of making the chili out of jerky. Now I'm thinking that I've gone insane - I'll need to make jerky to make chili to...

                  I dunno, I need to do a bit of searching around town (Austin TX) to find a good bulk jerky. I could probably find some venison jerky somewhere.

                  1. re: hooliganyouth

                    There is a place on S. Congress that (I think) sells bulk jerky and other game meat, on the right going south, 3-4 lights from bridge. They have a sign that says, "Jerky". I've never been in.

                    If you actually decide to try this, I want to watch! I'm a chili nut.

                    1. re: hooliganyouth

                      And, yes, I'll help! I've been wanting to try this for ages, I'm very interested in the history thing...