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Special Chili Ingredient

Insidious Rex Jan 29, 2009 11:01 AM

Making an annual Super Bowl chili. Ive pretty much tried everything and while I dont need a full recipe Im wondering what unusual or "special" ingredient folks use in their chili that really makes it good. Ive heard things like coffee, chocolate, molasses, cinnamon, even pig blood (!). Any other recommendations people have? Also does anyone else use a different cut of meat then the standard "stew beef"?

  1. PurpleTeeth Jan 29, 2009 11:03 AM

    Dried Lavender

    1 Reply
    1. re: PurpleTeeth
      Scargod Jan 30, 2009 03:55 AM

      With Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale...

    2. kattyeyes Jan 29, 2009 11:12 AM

      vanilla extract (also 2nding the chocolate and cinnamon)

      1. alwayscooking Jan 29, 2009 11:16 AM

        My standard chili isn't too far from typical - turkey and chipotle with plenty of beans.

        1. a
          austinfood Jan 29, 2009 11:22 AM

          I think most people over-complicate their chili. Thoroughly brown your beef in rendered beef fat, add garlic, cumin and oregano. Rehydrate a few different dried chiles (your choice) and throw them in the blender with some of the soaking liquid. Add this to your chili. Add some beef stock or beer. Simmer until the meat is really tender. Add a slurry of water, masa and a pinch of salt. Simmer until thickened and then adjust seasoning. You're done. This is one of those dishes best kept simple. It should taste like beef and chiles.

          9 Replies
          1. re: austinfood
            ccbweb Jan 30, 2009 04:20 AM

            May I come over for dinner, please? That sounds ideal. Clearly I couldn't possibly agree more with austinfood. The "secret" to a truly great chili is to use high quality ingredients and relatively few of them.

            James Christinian's suggestion to check out these recipes from Terlingua International Chili Competition winners to see what they put in their's is a really good one. http://www.chili.org/recipes.html

            Like others on this thread, I prefer chuck roast though my preference is for very coarsely ground rather than cut into chunks.

            1. re: austinfood
              kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 04:27 AM

              Sorry, not my type of chili, although I am sure good. I don't enjoy chili that way. Maybe just the way I grew up. I like alot of vegetables, beans and a depth of flavors with different spices. No offense ... different parts of the country have hundreds of different recipes.

              1. re: kchurchill5
                ccbweb Jan 30, 2009 06:20 AM

                To each their own and all that; but, the implication that there wouldn't be serious depth of flavor in what austinfood writes about is off base. The chilis along with the cumin will provide significant depth and breadth of flavor for the dish.

                1. re: ccbweb
                  kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 06:59 AM

                  I always cook each layer slowly and add cumin too ... but understand the differences.

              2. re: austinfood
                tmso Jan 30, 2009 08:34 AM

                I mostly agree here. That's a proper red beef chile. However, I include some rehydrated porcini or chinese black mushrooms (either will work) with the chiles. Not a lot, and not enough to be a clear flavor in the end product, but to my pallet it helps bring out the taste of the chiles.

                1. re: austinfood
                  sbp Feb 2, 2009 03:06 PM

                  That's pretty much my base recipe -- After I rehydrate the chile's, I whir them in an immersion blender, then sear and oven braise short ribs overnight in the chile liquid with some additional beer and seasonings. The long braise gives off a ton of meat juice, which adds a lot of beefy flavor. Next morning, separate beef from sauce. Refrigerate sauce. What i do differnent then most is I don't cube the beef - I use whole short ribs, then after the braise, I shred it. Finally, I add more ground chiles, Ketchup and some vinegar to give it more "pop."

                  1. re: austinfood
                    bushwickgirl Oct 29, 2009 08:43 PM

                    A-frickin'-men, classic is the best. I use chili grind beef, anchos and pasillas and definitely beer.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                      Scargod Oct 30, 2009 03:17 AM

                      Neither of you mention onion or tomato? Gotta do onion. Not even a dab of tomato? Otherwise, I too don't see the need to add a lot of secret ingredients or things like Worcestershire. Beef stock is almost required. Use it and a pinch of sugar and save the beer for direct intake while cooking!

                      1. re: Scargod
                        Soop Oct 30, 2009 03:38 AM

                        I never use tomato. Otherwise mine is like a ragu. Really easy and real nice.

                  2. c
                    cheesecake17 Jan 29, 2009 11:26 AM

                    Red bell peppers. I saute them with the onions until they are really soft and browned. They kind of melt into the chili and add a sweetness to balance out the spicyness.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: cheesecake17
                      heredia76 Jan 29, 2009 12:05 PM

                      the freshest ingredients possible! I also like beer and achiote. Rehydrate dry chilis blend em and strain em for your base with some V -8 for a fast rendition.

                      1. re: heredia76
                        bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 02:45 PM

                        V 8 does add a nice flavor

                        1. re: bbqboy
                          kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 05:31 PM

                          V-8 works great for me. I also use this as a quick go to in tomato based soups, sauces and stews.

                          1. re: kchurchill5
                            coll Feb 1, 2009 02:43 AM

                            Good way to use up leftover Bloody Mary mix too.

                            1. re: coll
                              kchurchill5 Feb 1, 2009 05:32 AM

                              Absolutely! Or better yet with some vodka, :)

                    2. l
                      LRunkle Jan 29, 2009 12:25 PM

                      Use roasted chuck roast and shred the meat rather than use hamburger. Can shred by hand or use a food processor for a finer chop. Be sure your ancho chile element is strong. I like to salt mine with fish sauce for extra umami, or beef bouillion concentrate.

                      1. JungMann Jan 29, 2009 12:49 PM

                        It depends on the style of chili I'm making. For your standard, I use a combination of cayenne, chili, chipotle and aleppo peppers for heat and often add a touch of cinnamon along with the cumin.

                        1. porker Jan 29, 2009 01:21 PM

                          Chipotle in adobo can add smoky background hints, but a little goes a long way; its easy to add too much and overpower. Try a half pepper for your pot and go from there.

                          As for a superbowl conversation piece, keep a smaller amount aside and make it super hot (plenty of cayenne or a bit of dave's insanity sauce or chopped habanero, you get the idear). Pretty much 'ridiculous' hot, but its gotta be killer.
                          Warn your guests and let them try it. They'll be talking about it for weeks...."hey remember Rex's hot superbowl chili?!"

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: porker
                            Insidious Rex Jan 30, 2009 12:57 PM

                            Yeah I used to actually make 'mild', 'somewhat spicy' and 'crazy spicy' versions whenever I made chili to keep everyone happy. But its a lot of trouble so this year Im going to forgo the habaneros altogether and just go for good tasting with a reasonable kick. After all I can always amp up my bowl with some pure cap or something once its served if Im feeling particularly suicidal.

                            By the way, Chipotle in adobe is a recent discovery for me and I love the combination of heat and smokiness it gives.

                          2. c
                            cstr Jan 29, 2009 02:27 PM

                            I use boneless chuck and cube it up, great flavor, never stew meat. Also, I cook mine in the oven, more even heat.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cstr
                              Insidious Rex Jan 30, 2009 12:58 PM

                              Interesting. Like a casserole? What temp? Fairly low I would imagine.

                              1. re: Insidious Rex
                                cstr Jan 30, 2009 03:34 PM

                                300 F, lid on. Length of time depends on how large your pot is, I do a large pot 3-4 qts from 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. The spices really get into the meat, cubes of meat are about 1", Oh and NO BEANS!

                            2. Passadumkeg Jan 29, 2009 02:34 PM

                              Hatch red chile pods, garlic, water, pork and salt and viola! New Mexico chile. Put the pinto beans in the bowl, top w/ red chile, grated cheese and diced raw onion. You'll never return to the dark side of the chile.

                              1. j
                                James Cristinian Jan 29, 2009 03:12 PM

                                Go to chili.org for the winning recipies at the Terlingua, Texas world chili cook-off from the past twenty years. You will not find recipies for chili with beans. We don't do that here.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: James Cristinian
                                  Soop Jan 31, 2009 01:55 AM

                                  Just checked it out - not really my style. I like it hot, but hearty and simple

                                2. bbqboy Jan 29, 2009 03:18 PM

                                  hershey's chocolate syrup.

                                  1. babette feasts Jan 29, 2009 05:45 PM

                                    peanut butter

                                    1. bkhuna Jan 29, 2009 07:31 PM

                                      Nopales, ancho chilies and pork butt among other things.

                                      No beans. No tomatoes. After all, I'm making a dish that features chile peppers, not a tomato stew.

                                      14 Replies
                                      1. re: bkhuna
                                        Passadumkeg Jan 30, 2009 02:24 AM

                                        So true, so true. Don't be tempted by the dark side of the tomato and bean force.
                                        En Espanol chile con frijoles.

                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                          Scargod Jan 30, 2009 04:05 AM

                                          AFAIAC, tomatillos belong in pork chile. I disdain beans or any veggies like celery, sweet bell peppers, carrots, etc. I think you get the idea (and yes, at small New England chili cookoffs I've seen it all!) If you do then call it vegetable stew, not chili.

                                          If making beef chili I have used seven roast, sirloin and round steak. I cut up my own and pass on the "stew meat" because you don't know what cuts it consists of.

                                          1. re: Scargod
                                            kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 04:29 AM

                                            Lol, chili with no beans or vegetables to me is stewed beef not chili.

                                            As I mentioned above ... all different styles of chili depending on where you grew up.

                                            No rights, no wrongs.

                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                              Scargod Jan 30, 2009 05:54 AM

                                              Not so! No matter how many fig leaves you offer, chili (or "red"), is basically meat and chiles (in various forms). There's green chili, white chili, chili with beans and, perhaps, there's chili with vegetables. Please just don't call yours "chili" :)
                                              People in New England, the only place I have lived, except for North Texas, love my Red. After the watery, dumbed-down, hamburger meat concotion they usually eat, they think mine is incredible.

                                              BTW, additions to my chili may include Cream Stout, good smoked bacon, (chopped), chopped chipotles, in adobo or chopped green chiles. I don't add masa as I don't like the texture. Sorry Pass... I do use some tomato sauce.

                                              1. re: Scargod
                                                Passadumkeg Jan 30, 2009 05:58 AM

                                                Ditto, Tex for New Mex. Blows their mind to eat the real deal.

                                                1. re: Scargod
                                                  kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 07:03 AM

                                                  Like I said, Washington, Michigan, Arkansas,, MN, FL all the same as me growing up but transplants everywhere. I don't dislike any, I just prefer mine and there are probably a million recipes out there. Everyone will claim to be the best. MI, would not put beans or veggies, but like I said. Just depends ... I ate TX chili, hated it, I finished mine but OMG, also had their corn bread. Didn't like that either.

                                                  But always respect everyones recipes and their likes. Otherwise we wouldn't have all these great discussions would we.

                                                  All in fun.

                                                2. re: kchurchill5
                                                  KaimukiMan Jan 30, 2009 05:03 PM

                                                  no, sorry, chili is a dish of the west, and the vegetables (except chilis and onions, maybe garlic) have no business being there. beans are an ongoing debate and will continue to be so, but kc, what you are making is at best a distant cousin to chili.

                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                    kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 05:55 PM

                                                    And to me you are making a glorified beef stew, lol.

                                                    No worries, each is own. I realize that. We all like our favorites. As long as you and your family and friends like it is what is important.

                                                    1. re: kchurchill5
                                                      KaimukiMan Jan 30, 2009 07:12 PM

                                                      beef stew has carrots and celery and onions in it, you are the one making stew - or more likely minestrone with chili pepper added. and no, it is not "as long as it is what i like". a friend of mine grew up eating browned hamburger with ketchup. his mom called it chili. that doesn't make it so.

                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                        KTinNYC Feb 1, 2009 06:34 AM

                                                        Exactly. kchurchill5, you are the one that is making beef stew. You can call it chili but most people would not recognize it as such.

                                                3. re: Scargod
                                                  bkhuna Jan 30, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                  I guess you've never heard of Chili con Nopales then. Beats the heck out of kidney beans and velveeta.

                                                  1. re: bkhuna
                                                    Scargod Jan 31, 2009 02:55 AM

                                                    I have actually eaten Chili con Nopales in New Mexico, but it slipped my mind. Yummy.

                                                    I'm just a proponent (apparently too no avail), that the word "chili", standing alone, should mean something; and eschew a vague, bastardized anything.

                                                    1. re: bkhuna
                                                      Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 03:54 AM

                                                      Chile con nopales was my lunch every day at work this week. I feel this whole argument about "authentic" has to do w/ regionality. I have spent a third of my adult life each in Maine and in New Mexico (and 1/2 abroad!). Chile is a southwest/hispanic invention, just like chowder is NewEngland/French. The chiles I learned in New Mexico are vastly different from the ones I see in New England. It is a matter of experience and interpretation. In the old southwest chle was a basic meal in an era w/out refridgration. Dried red chiles, charque, dried meat, and garlic and onions formed the base. I miss the green chile mutton and venison chilies with pinto beans playing a very minor role, served w/ hot fresh tortillas that I used to eat on the Zuni reservation. And the rich pork red chile my Old New Mexican in-laws used to serve. It was meant to be served OVER pinto beans, not mixed with them. There was no tomato in any of these. Just like I have a hard time finding good chowder outside New England (sorry New York) I have a hard tme adjusting to this stuff called chile in the East. I just wish they would give it a different name and then I could like it better. It is like someone saying, "Want a hot dog?", and giving you a hamburger, but calling it a hot dog. Sorry, but but I could eat eastern chile a lot eastier if it was called hamburg and bean stew or something along those lines.
                                                      Funny, it was from posts like these that Scargod and I began to correspond and then became good personal chile friends.
                                                      Pax and carpe chile amicus,
                                                      El Viejo Estupido Garaffe

                                                      And now to go make some scrambled egg and chorizo tacos w/ freshly roasted green chiles for breakfast, no kidney beans or "hamgburg" , please. Mmm, gotta make some lamb chile (can't find mutton) chile this week for supper!
                                                      If you like Latin dance music, give "Gracias a ls Vida a listen this morning at eleven (EDST) at WERU.org mainstreamed arond the world, community radio w/ Marco Viejo (me) as your host.

                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                        James Cristinian Jan 31, 2009 08:14 AM

                                                        I like that hamburger/hot dog analogy. If people want to call their concoctions with beans, veggies, and whatever else, chili, so be it.

                                              2. kchurchill5 Jan 29, 2009 07:35 PM

                                                Chipoltes for heat .

                                                CHOCOLATE, a must. my grandma did it. I still do. Most good chefs do also. Just gives depth of flavor. Nothing fancy, just cocoa powder, or a dark chocolate bar melted in. But prefer the dark cocoa powder.

                                                1. s
                                                  SonyBob Jan 29, 2009 07:46 PM

                                                  My recipe calls for banana peppers and some of the juice from the jar! It's a great recipe, though.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: SonyBob
                                                    kchurchill5 Jan 29, 2009 07:54 PM

                                                    That would work ... too mild for me. I like real spice, but that does add a nice flavor.

                                                    1. re: kchurchill5
                                                      SonyBob Jan 30, 2009 08:21 AM

                                                      The spice comes from cumin, Chilio (not a "true" chili recipe), serrano peppers and cayanne pepper. There's plenty of heat. I also use a combination of regular and hot Rotel tomatoes. The banana peppers and juice is just for flavor.

                                                  2. p
                                                    pepperqueen Jan 29, 2009 10:08 PM

                                                    Our chili is beef (round or london broil chopped in the processor ) , ground ancho chili (about 1/3 cup per pound of meat, chopped onion (1 per lb. of meat), 3 or more cloves of garlic ,cumin, mexican oregano, a dash of cinnamon and at least ` tsp of chili flakes. Brown meat well and then add onions, garlic and spices and cook until onions wilt. Add 2 cans of beef broth. Simmer for 2 hrs. or so and if you like add a can or 2 of pinto or kidney beans and cook for another 30 min. or so.

                                                    I know you didn't ask for a recipe, but I just couldn't resist.

                                                    1. madgreek Jan 30, 2009 02:55 AM

                                                      Cayenne, chocolate and merken pepper make it unique.

                                                      1. m
                                                        MaineLobstah Jan 30, 2009 03:13 AM

                                                        I use equal amounts of beef and pork, usually chuck and whatever cut of cheap pork I can find...and I cut those into fairly small cubes, less than 1". No "stewed tomatoes"...but I do add a tablespoon of tomato paste.

                                                        1. JohnE O Jan 30, 2009 05:24 AM

                                                          I too use the beef/pork combo. I also mash up the kidney beans into a paste as I've found my kids don't like the texture of the full bean and the mashed beans add body.

                                                          1. ipsedixit Jan 30, 2009 07:05 AM

                                                            Star anise and chorizo.

                                                            1. jmckee Jan 30, 2009 08:07 AM

                                                              I started with my mother's recipe (which, thanks to my dad's idiot wife throwing away mom's recipe box, is the only one I have in her handwriting). It's pretty typical midwest chili, except mom added dry red wine, which I do as well. Also, instead of chili powder alone, I mix chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and white pepper.

                                                              1. Phoo_d Jan 30, 2009 08:17 AM

                                                                Our special ingredient is Rouge Chipolte Ale. It adds just the right mix of hoppy chipolte goodness. Plus it's good to drink along with the chili too!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Phoo_d
                                                                  Insidious Rex Jan 30, 2009 01:09 PM

                                                                  Nice. Its hard to go wrong with almost anything from Rogue. Their Smoke Ale would be a good choice too. Its their version of a Rauchbier and its absolutely undrinkable to me (think liquid smoke with hops...) but I always imagined it would make an ideal marinade for BBQ meats or in things like chili. And Ill probably be drinking some nice pilsner with the chili like a Prima Pils from Victory. Just enough flavor and hops but completely refreshing and wont bog you down while you are eating bowls of spicy chili.

                                                                2. Bat Guano Jan 30, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                                  Lamb or venison, or some other meat with a little gamey flavor. Use that for maybe a third of your meat, and the rest beef (chuck or tri-tip, which seems to be what the winners of chili competitions are using these days). I haven't tried goat, but I bet it'd be good.

                                                                  1. coll Jan 30, 2009 08:47 AM

                                                                    Horseradish. Brisket.

                                                                    1. l
                                                                      lijaszym Jan 30, 2009 09:45 AM

                                                                      I'll probably get flogged for this but...if anyone does put beans in their chili, try using baked kidney beans. Just adds a little something. I am from New England and make the tomato/bean type of chili.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: lijaszym
                                                                        kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 09:50 AM

                                                                        Hooray!!, I put lots of beans and tomatoes too. I posted mine. I love beef, also my white bean and my black bean with chorizzo. Want the recipe ... be glad to post. Since this isn't a recipe but special ingredient. Let me know I can post or try my www.simplykatering@blogspot.com. or email me ... kchurchill5@comcast.net. Otherwise glad to repost. I love all chilis but prefer beans and tomato type too.

                                                                        Thanks for sticking up with me I was feeling lonely, :)

                                                                      2. t
                                                                        torty Jan 30, 2009 02:14 PM

                                                                        I add come chipotle en adobo and also thicken things up near the end with some toasted corn meal

                                                                        1. rcspott Jan 30, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                                          Rendered beef kidney suet, it's a heart stopper but really good.

                                                                          1. Soop Jan 31, 2009 01:46 AM

                                                                            Damn, I misread this as chilli peppers yesterday.
                                                                            My chilli uses casserole steak, chopped roughly, and takes 2 hours to cook.
                                                                            I do it like a ragu, covering with water and reducing to a thick sauce. Also, I only use a little tomato puree, a lot of spices, different chillis, and... I cheat and use a spice mix with some extra paprika.

                                                                            *edit* Just read through most of the posts, and it seems like most Americans cook their chilli for 2 hours or so. It's a shame in the UK that chilli is considered to be mincemeat, tomatoes, beans and chilli powder.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Soop
                                                                              paulj Jan 31, 2009 08:47 AM

                                                                              My latest version was about as far from the quick UK style as you can get.

                                                                              I cooked an oxtail in a lightly flavored broth (mainly garlic) till tender, and then stored the meat and broth separately.
                                                                              Later I trimmed off most of the fat from the oxtail pieces.
                                                                              Rehydrated and pureed 1 ancho pepper and 1 pasilla pepper (medium hot peppers, a bit like the Spanish Norra).
                                                                              Sauteed a large onion, garlic, then added the puree and tail pieces.
                                                                              Spices included ground cumin and Mexican oregano (as more pronounced aroma than Mediterranean oregano). Salt and pepper to taste.
                                                                              Added enough defatted broth to make a sauce.
                                                                              Added 1 can black beans with juice - I don't usually use beans, but in this case the beans help absorb excess fat.
                                                                              Simmer another hour or so.
                                                                              As with most stews, this gets better the next day.

                                                                            2. m
                                                                              matzohballguy Jan 31, 2009 09:02 AM

                                                                              A lot of people don't believe in adding tomatoes to chili but as my brother in law, another chili lover, once mentioned to me there's nothing like biting into a chunk of tomato for relief if the chili's hot. The trick is to take the time and cut up fresh tomatoes, not canned. I spend extra on the best reddest, sweetest on the vine tomatoes at the grocery [NOT Italian!]. Also like to cut huge chunks of celery into my chili, if you add late enough it's a nice crisp texture -if you like celery as I do, but only good if you cut half inch size bites.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: matzohballguy
                                                                                kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 10:21 AM

                                                                                FYI, never doing another chili post again ... lol.

                                                                                However, when I make it for a big crowd, I usually do take time to use fresh tomatoes and fine cut veggies. Mine doesn't have big chunks of veggies.

                                                                                Sometimes when working like today I had 1 hr to put dinner together. It is at home cooking. I'm on laptop. I made white bean chili, yes canned tomatoes and celery probably too big put good non the less and homemade, not fast food.

                                                                                Sometimes working single moms have to find shortcuts and sometimes they actually work, lol.

                                                                                1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                  bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 10:34 AM

                                                                                  Chili and BBQ seem to be topics that inspire passion, Both are regional dishes that have become national dishes, with wide variations in their makeup, but with many decrying those variations as "not the real thing".

                                                                                  1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                    matzohballguy Jan 31, 2009 10:56 AM

                                                                                    So true bbqboy. My understanding and forgive me if someone has mentioned in this string already, is that texas makes its chili without beans and new mexico makes it with. The latter seems to be more popular among the general pop. Hey I can't think of a tastier way to eat those healthy black beans even if the texas purists are gonna be offended.

                                                                                    1. re: matzohballguy
                                                                                      Scargod Jan 31, 2009 12:45 PM

                                                                                      I'm not offended... I just like to argue! Hell, I know plenty of Texans that eat pintos and even black beans in their chili.
                                                                                      I offer beans on the side for those that want them. I DO NOT cook beans in with my chili and Passadumkeg, who lived in New Mexico, said that he put his chili on top of beans. So don't start spreading tales about NM cooking them in with the chili.
                                                                                      I just made a quick pot of chili this morning. I cut up a couple of cheap strip steaks for it and used a half-pound of raw Italian sausage in it. I have remnants of an old pot of black beans laying around. Who knows, the two may meet!

                                                                                      1. re: Scargod
                                                                                        Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 01:22 PM

                                                                                        Funny, NEVER saw a black bean when I lived in New Mex. A funny story. My dad came to visit us in New Mexico from the east and he loved his "chili". He ordered a bowl of red chile at our favorite, Jaramillo's Mexicatessen, when the steaming bowl of bright red chile arrived, he took a sip and from the hot spiciness, he croaked, "Are you trying to kill your poor father?"
                                                                                        then as he tucked in he asked, " Where are the beans?" to which I replied, "You just ordered a bowl of chile. You didn't ask for any beans." I think this illustrates the basic misunderstanding of eastern and western chile. I don't put tomatoes in either. And I don't order New England clam chowder in Albuquerque.

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                          KaimukiMan Jan 31, 2009 02:29 PM

                                                                                          I don't think there is anything wrong with ordering New England clam chowder in Albuquerque, who knows they might get it right. But I wouldn't expect to find carrots and celery in it (or chilies for that matter). Just like in New England, I wouldn't expect to find carrots and celery in my chili. It might not be "as good" as what I could find in Albuquerque, Dallas, Flagstaff, or San Diego, but it should be chili, not minestrone with chilies added.

                                                                              2. Demented Jan 31, 2009 01:03 PM

                                                                                Special ingredients, tequila & beer.

                                                                                Meat equal parts beef chuck, pork but and lamb leg.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Demented
                                                                                  Candy Jan 31, 2009 01:11 PM

                                                                                  Chuck, freshly toasted cumin seed, ground in a mortar, Mexican Oregano, a combination of chilies...Anchos, Cascabels,Guajillos, etc.that get toasted and then soaked and pureed and strained to make a paste. Onions and garlic of course and a bit of masa harina to thicken. Beans are optional and served on the side so people can add them or not.

                                                                                  1. re: Candy
                                                                                    Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 01:29 PM

                                                                                    What time is dinner? Funny, I generally use pork in my chile, because this is the way my in-laws taught me. I guess raising a heffer to slaughter and just eating beef to eat for a year might have something to do with it.

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                      Candy Jan 31, 2009 03:47 PM

                                                                                      I find most pork, unless I get it locally from a hog raiser is too lean for good chili. The meat gets dry despite the long slow braise, hence the chuck. It is meatier and fatter than pork. The mouth feel is better. I start with a 7 blade chuck roast if I can get it and go from there.

                                                                                      I did have a co-worker ask me one time in a chili discussion that how I got me chili to be red if I did not use tomatoes. Duh! Chilis!

                                                                                      1. re: Candy
                                                                                        Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                                                        Pork butt, lots of fat and make chicharones w/ the skin. Yum.

                                                                                        1. re: Candy
                                                                                          Scargod Feb 1, 2009 05:19 AM

                                                                                          Yes, I too have often used a 7 roast. Has lots of flavor. Like Pass suggests I also use the pork butt roast for green chili, posole and the like.

                                                                                          1. re: Scargod
                                                                                            Passadumkeg Feb 1, 2009 05:32 AM

                                                                                            Funny how I don't care for beef in chile. I like a good steak and burger, but prefer pork for red or green and always for posole. Must come form my in-laws.

                                                                                  2. Veggo Jan 31, 2009 01:13 PM

                                                                                    Venison! I got so spoiled by Texas venison chili (NO BEANS) I can't eat anything else. At the end of deer season, my boss would have a "chili weekend" at his ranch at an undisclosed location, that included probably a $1B of private aircraft, plus secret service. Many guest hunters during the season took their antlers and heads and contributed the remainder to the chili pot. Over the weekend, the cooks make about 3000 pounds of venison chili, and it was packaged in 2 pound packs to be frozen for future use. We got an allotment based on what we had contributed during the season. A careful scorecard was kept. I was one of the poor bastards who left by automobile and not by jet, but in some years my 40 pounds of chili on the highway was more pleasurable than 10 pounds at 30,000 feet.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                                      Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 01:45 PM

                                                                                      Elk! the very first bowl of New Mexican chile I ever had was in 1971 helping and old New Mexican friend, Manuel build an adobe addition onto his ranch house. It was made from elk jerky, dried red chile pod, garlic, salt and water on an old wood stove w/ a big pot of pintos bubbling nest to it. When we got done working, he put the pintos in the bottom of the bowl, ladled the elk chile on top and covered it w/ grated cheese and diced raw onion. We sat done w/ the chile and a couple of cold beers to admire our days work and watch the sun set. He told me he'd give me the ranch, if I'd marry his daughter. Sorry, not worth it.
                                                                                      Was your chow at the Vermajo Ranch?

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                        Veggo Jan 31, 2009 01:59 PM

                                                                                        Many of the deer were from 2 ranches in Webb County, near Laredo, which yield Boone and Crockett trophys. The chili weekend happens at a location where I respect their preference for privacy.

                                                                                    2. girlnotorious Jan 31, 2009 01:34 PM

                                                                                      Ah - the debate rages - on. I am a tomatoes &, bean (pinto w/ jalapenos) girl. I have won two awards for my chili (That Darn Chili), albeit in Beverly Hills. My secret ingredient, diced potatoes - the starch thickens it up, dry red wine, and beer. I use top quality sirloin, and cook it on high heat with the dry spices first, no liquid, so it sautes, doesn't boil. Top with extra sharp cheddar cheese and red oinon.
                                                                                      Good Luck!

                                                                                      1. Pylon Jan 31, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                                                        Mine is pretty simple. Brown 2 lbs ground turkey, add in a couple cans of black beans (goop and all), 2 cups or so of salsa (so lazy, I know, but you can get some great flavors of salsa these days!), some tomato paste or diced tomatoes, depending on what's around. Then I add some chocolate (semi sweet, eating, chips, whatever I have around), some cinnamon, garlic power and (this might qualify as unusual) a healthy does of balsamic vinegar. I really like the tang and zip it brings.

                                                                                        1. KaimukiMan Jan 31, 2009 02:36 PM

                                                                                          I'm beginning to believe that there should be a new word invented for "near-chili" (Nechil?), while "true chili" should go back to the full name of chili-con-carne. Won't happen, but it would sure reduce the controversy.

                                                                                          True chili would be allowed to have meat (mammal), chilies (in virtually any form), allowable flavorings would include onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and a thickener. MINOR additions of other flavors (wine, tomato, chocolate, etc) could be argued; however these must not be recognizable as individual ingredients in the final dish. Addition of beans could be a sub-category chili-con-carne & frijoles (some will argue this).

                                                                                          Any other recognizable ingredients (carrots, tomato, celery, corn, cheese, potato, pasta, mushrooms, etc) would change the dish to "nechil".

                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                            Scargod Jan 31, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                                            The two chili cookoff organizations, ICS and CASI have pretty much nailed this down but nobody's paying any attention. Could we call the stuff with all those ingredients in your last sentence "Nechil Crap"?
                                                                                            Then there's the grandady of them all, where there's real chili made: THE ANNUAL ORIGINAL TERLINGUA INTERNATIONAL FRANK X. TOLBERT- WICK FOWLER MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP CHILI COOKOFF.

                                                                                            1. re: Scargod
                                                                                              Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 03:28 PM

                                                                                              Is it in New Mexico; the inventor of the "Anaheim"?

                                                                                              I'd prefer the Hatch Chile Festival in Hatch, New Mexico. Tex, they won't hold it agin' ya.


                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                Scargod Feb 1, 2009 05:26 AM

                                                                                                Hah! Terlingua, Texas!! In the Big Bend National Park...
                                                                                                There can't be anything wrong with a Hatch Chile festival as long as it includes chili!
                                                                                                Just made mine (yesterday), with mild Hatch chile powder.

                                                                                                1. re: Scargod
                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Feb 1, 2009 05:35 AM

                                                                                                  Just yankin' yo' chain, pard. Big Bend, hmmm, awfully close to Mexico. Them Messicans might try and influence Texas chile, if you're not careful!

                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                    Scargod Feb 1, 2009 10:47 AM

                                                                                                    Dang, boy! An you bein' a teacher an such.... History shows that chili came from the Mexican caballeros. Tejas cowpokes were quick on the uptake and improved on it. As it moved northwards... not so much so.

                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod
                                                                                                      paulj Feb 1, 2009 10:55 AM

                                                                                                      Are you sure it was the caballeros, not the vaqueros? :)

                                                                                                      While I raise that question in a joking sense, there is a real distinction in Spanish. 'Caballero' is a gentleman, a horse-man, deriving from Latin for a horse-groom. The caballero owns the cows (vacas) and ranch, the vaquero is the employee who herds them.

                                                                                                      The San Antonio chili queens were, more likely than not, Hispanic as well.

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        Scargod Feb 1, 2009 12:50 PM

                                                                                                        You are correct. Mi español no es la mejor.

                                                                                                        1. re: Scargod
                                                                                                          Passadumkeg Feb 1, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                                                                          They were homeboys w/ horses instead of lowriders?

                                                                                            2. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                              Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                                                              Kaimu, great idea, where would tomatillos fit in?

                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                paulj Jan 31, 2009 03:35 PM

                                                                                                in chile verde

                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 03:40 PM

                                                                                                  Yup, I won't argue.

                                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                  bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 04:19 PM

                                                                                                  But I remember NM(& Colorado and Wyoming) chile verde as being made from Green Chiles, no tomatillos.
                                                                                                  Tomatillos are a low elevation crop.

                                                                                                  1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 04:26 PM

                                                                                                    Yup, I won't argue again. It just depends how high I'm feeling.

                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                      bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 04:31 PM

                                                                                                      I didn't really discover Tomatillos till I lived in Az. for several years.
                                                                                                      Much prefer a Verde made from chiles And tomatillos, but certainly won't refuse
                                                                                                      a bowl of NM style.

                                                                                                      1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 05:22 PM

                                                                                                        I too only started using tomatillos recently. I make a traditional New Mexico pork or chicken green chile, but when using beef, which I don't care for as much, I use tomatillos and/or nopales.
                                                                                                        Do you make any Navajo/Zuni/Hopi style mutton/lamb chiles?

                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                          bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 05:26 PM

                                                                                                          never learned those, as I was in Phoenix, but wish I had.

                                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                    KaimukiMan Jan 31, 2009 07:05 PM

                                                                                                    Seems to me tomatillos would be in the "added if you cant tell" section, but I'll leave that up to the experts. Perhaps as has been noted they could be included in the chili verde category, but that is possibly separate from the chili-con-carne. Or should chili-con-carne have rojo and verde sections?

                                                                                                    im getting confused again....LOL

                                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                      paulj Jan 31, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                                                                      Tomatillos are present in about half ot these ICS championship chile verde recipes

                                                                                                3. Veggo Jan 31, 2009 05:07 PM

                                                                                                  The regional differences in southwest chili are as varied as with eastern barbecue. Texas chili has no legumes, and few vegetables. Lots of meat; never pork. Texas chili is a bowl of crushed meat with zesty flavorings. Meat is the dominant ingredient.
                                                                                                  Chili in NM, AZ, and CO is vegetable-based soup or stew, with lots of mild chili's, some tomatoes and onions, and pork remnants. Meat is a bit player.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                    bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 05:09 PM

                                                                                                    Tomatoes? Not in my experience. And the CV in Az was a lot different than the high country
                                                                                                    versions. I was taught to add citrus juice of some type, usually lemon juice but really anything that was growing in the yard. Squeezed orange and grapefruit are interesting to add.

                                                                                                  2. kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 05:41 PM

                                                                                                    I think we can all say there is no answer to the chili debate ...

                                                                                                    And who is to say where chili began. My grandmothers grandmother has a old recipe similar to what I make written in a ol' diary. She called in Beef Chili. And she wasn't from TX, Michigan. And by damned, it had celery, onions and BEANS. So regardless ... of what you put in it. Chili is what you call it. Many variations with different meats and seasonings and beans and ingredients.

                                                                                                    I don't care what you call it it still is considered chili. My black bean won 1st prize in MI. And OMG, it had beans, celery, onions, garlic, chorizzo, etc. We still called it chili.

                                                                                                    I'm not saying it is traditional ... not sure anyone has the right to call just one recipe or style traditional. I got a recipe from a friend over in the Land Down Under ... They also make chili and it certainly is not like ours. My friend over there has won several local cookoffs. It isn't quite TX chili trust me.

                                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                      bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 05:43 PM


                                                                                                      1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                        kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 05:48 PM

                                                                                                        My recipe or the aussie one ... I'm sure the aussie is what you meant?. I will email him to get it. I had it once when he visited and he made it for a Sunday football game we watched and trust me not like chili I had before. I'm sure he would send the recipe. I will be glad to ask and share. I will try to post as soon as I get it. He is good at checking emails. Love to share those recipes from overseas.

                                                                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                          bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                                                                          as long as it doesn't involve kangaroos :)

                                                                                                          1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                            kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 05:51 PM

                                                                                                            I hope not, because I really enjoyed it.

                                                                                                      2. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                        Veggo Jan 31, 2009 05:49 PM

                                                                                                        Certainly the range of interpretations is part of the fun in both the cooking, and the suspense and anticipation in the eating. I can't think of many other dishes, or any at all, that offer such lattitude.

                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                          kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                                                                          I second that and it has been entertaining, educational and enjoyable.!

                                                                                                        2. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                          KaimukiMan Jan 31, 2009 07:07 PM

                                                                                                          kchurch, hope i never implied that your dish was anything less than delicious. i'm sure it is... just not what i consider to be chili. :-)

                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                            kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 07:12 PM

                                                                                                            No worries here. Everyones is different. This is what these discussions are all about. I'm sure you're is too .. I just like mine better, LOL.

                                                                                                            Chili is the greatest comfort food around!!

                                                                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                              KaimukiMan Jan 31, 2009 07:18 PM

                                                                                                              On that we agree 100%

                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                kchurchill5 Jan 31, 2009 07:20 PM


                                                                                                          2. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 09:49 PM

                                                                                                            Ms Church, "And who is to say where chili (sic) began?" The history of chile in Mexico is well documented via the records of Spanish priests and nuns. It is nearly 500 years old for beef, pork and chicken recipes and would date back to the Mayans with the use of turkey. (Eat_nopal, where are you?) Perhaps simply calling one chile and the other chili would suffice. Does your great great grand mother have any good Finnish recipes from the UP?

                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                              paulj Jan 31, 2009 10:46 PM

                                                                                                              Though chili, with the 'i' is disowned by Mexicans (Bayless has a quote to that effect). Mexicans do cook meat with chiles, but the roots of the dish that we've been talking about are in Texas. Often the San Antonio 'chili queens' are mentioned, street vendors from around the 1880s. Others talk about the stews made by chuck wagon cooks, using their beef-on-the-hoof, and semi-wild chiles gather along the trail. The spread of the dish through out the rest of the USA seems to have occurred mostly in the early 20th century.

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Feb 1, 2009 05:43 AM

                                                                                                                I'll respectfully disagree. Texas was Mexico until the 1840's and the influence didn't stop then. It was the Spanish who brought beef and pork to Mexico and chile was an immediate use. I avoid Bayless, too much hype(bad attitude I know). Find Mexican sources. Guajalote mole is the national dish of Mexico, dates to the Aztecs and is nothing but a style of turkey chile.

                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                  paulj Feb 1, 2009 08:34 AM

                                                                                                                  The Bayless quote that I had in mind was his translations from the Dictionary of 'Majicanismos'


                                                                                                                  "chili (Del inglés chili, abreviación de chili con carne, del español chile con carne.), véase chile con carne."

                                                                                                                  "chile con carne. m. Plato del suroeste de Estados Unidos (territorio mexicano hasta 1845-1848), hecho de carne de res molida, chile picado y especias, que se sirve con frijoles."

                                                                                                                  which roughly translated are:
                                                                                                                  chili - from English 'chili', short for 'chile con carne' (chile with meat).
                                                                                                                  chile con carne - "Dish from SE USA (Mexican territory until 1845-48), made with ground beef, minced chile and spices, which is served with beans.'

                                                                                                                  Bayless's translation (from an earlier, less polite edition ?)
                                                                                                                  "Detestable food that under the false Mexican title is sold in the United States, from Texas to New York."

                                                                                                                  This is from his recipe for 'Carne con chile colorado', which is a pork version from a Chihuahua cook.

                                                                                                                  Anyways, when people talk about the chili queens, they are not focusing on the ultimate origins of the idea of cooking meat with chiles, but rather the evolution of the dish that became popular throughout the USA in the 20th century. Yes, you can find birria, and various moles in Mexican restaurants (in the USA and Mexico), but a ground meat stew called 'chili' or even 'chile con carne' is unlikely.

                                                                                                                  Ever wonder how the name became 'chile with meat', as opposed to 'meat with a chile sauce'?

                                                                                                                  And why are we debating the use of beans in chili? Mexican dishes that use meat and beans together are rare. Most often beans are prepared and served on their own. For some Mexicans they are a separate, end of the meal, dish (refried beans used as a spread are an exception to this). The use of beans, especially chickpeas, in some versions of Menudo has its roots in Spain, not the Americas.

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Feb 1, 2009 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                    Thanks, I read Spanish. The use of almonds, raisins, and oranges came via Spain from the Moors. Ah! The travel and exchange of food! What did the Indians and Thais do before the export of the chili from the Americas?
                                                                                                                    The Frito pie is a good example. The corn Frito covered w/ pinot beans, covered w/ red pork chile, covered w/ cheese, covered w/ diced onion. A meal in a minute w/ a chef's touch in ...

                                                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                    paulj Feb 1, 2009 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                    The preparation of Guajalote mole has little in common with turkey chile. In a mole, dried chiles, spices and nuts are toasted, ground, fried, and simmered to form a sauce. The bird is stewed separately in a lightly flavored broth. Some of the resulting turkey stock is used to thin the sauce. The sauce is then served over the meat.

                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Feb 1, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                      I cook chunks of turkey right in the mole, like Mrs. Delgadio taught me.

                                                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                  kchurchill5 Feb 1, 2009 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                  She had tons of recipes. She passed on many years ago. She had stories and stories and recipes galore. I have an ol' diary with many, but mostly just her recent ones. My mother has a box that belonged to my grandmother that was her grandmothers recipes. One day I'll be able to copy them all, but for now, I just look through them now and then when I can. She is German and so was her husband so lots of german recipes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                                    paulj Feb 1, 2009 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                    Those old German grandmother recipes raise a question - whether there were old European or earlier American influences in the evolution of chili? For example New England has baked beans, which have some meat (salt pork) flavoring. France has Cassoulet, a bean stew with sausages and duck. Spain has many bean and meat dishes, many of which now incorporate chiles that they got from the Americas. In eastern Europe there are meat stews rich in chiles, which we loosely call goulashes.

                                                                                                                    Cincinnati chili clearly has Greek influences.

                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                      Candy Feb 1, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                      My DH made a chili a week ago, I guess it was Cincinnati style. It had cinnamon in it. That was a bit too weird for me.

                                                                                                                3. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                                  Scargod Feb 1, 2009 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                  Don't blow a gasket until you share the recipe for your OMG stew! :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Scargod
                                                                                                                    kchurchill5 Feb 1, 2009 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                    I have shared it!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod
                                                                                                                      DallasDude Oct 29, 2009 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                      Do you plan on being at Terlingua this year?

                                                                                                                      1. re: DallasDude
                                                                                                                        Scargod Oct 30, 2009 03:04 AM

                                                                                                                        You know, I have never been. I have been in the Big Bend area before. I would love to attend the cookoff before I die! The fact that I am in CT now makes it difficult.

                                                                                                                  2. w
                                                                                                                    wolfmonk Jan 31, 2009 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                    A few cut up prunes.

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: wolfmonk
                                                                                                                      bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 09:51 PM

                                                                                                                      yikes! :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Jan 31, 2009 10:01 PM

                                                                                                                        Revolutionary! The prunes give power to the chili movement!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                          bbqboy Jan 31, 2009 10:59 PM

                                                                                                                          That's a perfect sentence on so many levels!

                                                                                                                        2. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                                          wolfmonk Feb 2, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                          I like chile that's thick, sweet (not super sweet, but a little sweet) and very hot - the prunes help with the first two points. And assisting the Revolutionary Chile Movement (as dubbed by Passadumkeg) doesn't hurt either - I'm not getting any younger.

                                                                                                                      2. kchurchill5 Feb 1, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                        Interesting link ...


                                                                                                                        1. j
                                                                                                                          James Cristinian Feb 1, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                          I agree with paulj, chili is not Mexican. My wife is Hipanic, she is from the Rio Grande Valley, her mother is from Guadalajara, and they never eat chili. I make a pretty good bowl of red from a past Terlingua winner, and my wife won't touch it. I've always been under the impression that it was the chili queens in San Antonio in the late 1800's. Right now the dear girl is making carnitas for the Super Bowl. Can I say that or do I have to call it the big game, lest the NFL lawyers come after me?

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                            aynrandgirl Feb 12, 2010 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                            Not even a spoonful? Is she vegetarian?

                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                            AndyGanil Feb 7, 2009 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                            CHORIZO. LOTS OF CHORIZO

                                                                                                                            1. al b. darned Oct 29, 2009 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                              Here's the most unusual chili recipe I've come across:

                                                                                                                              BUZZARD'S BREATH CHILI

                                                                                                                              (From Tom Griffin, 1977 Terlingua World's Champ)

                                                                                                                              8 lbs.. chuck, coarsely ground
                                                                                                                              3 (8oz.) cans tomato sauce
                                                                                                                              2 onions, chopped
                                                                                                                              5 garlic cloves, finely minced
                                                                                                                              Cumin to taste
                                                                                                                              Oregano to taste
                                                                                                                              Chili powder-lots of it
                                                                                                                              Salt to taste
                                                                                                                              Dried red ants, to taste
                                                                                                                              Cigar ashes - El Producto preferred

                                                                                                                              Method: Brown beef in an iron skillet and transfer to chili pot. Add tomato sauce and equal amount of water. Add onions, garlic and chili powder.

                                                                                                                              Simmer for 20 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, salt and red ants to taste. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes to an hour. Add masa and cigar ashes to achieve desired thickness. Cook 10 additional minutes. Correct seasonings to taste.

                                                                                                                              FWIW: I have never made this...seem's I'm always out of red ants.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                Scargod Oct 30, 2009 03:08 AM

                                                                                                                                Sounds good! Ants to taste... I think I'l put in two, finely ground. Cigar ash? Perfect use for that old one I have laying around somewhere.

                                                                                                                              2. Perilagu Khan Feb 9, 2010 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                The most exotic ingredients that go into my pot o' red are 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove and some powdered New Mexico green chile. No tomato sauce, and absolutely NO BEANS for the love of all that is holy in this world.

                                                                                                                                PS--There's two types of chili: New Mexico green and Texas red. All others are wannabes.

                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                  porker Feb 9, 2010 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                  Hows about Cincinnati Chili on spaghetti noodles? Hehe.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: porker
                                                                                                                                    aynrandgirl Feb 12, 2010 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                    That stuff is so thin and watery I hardly call it chili. The cinnamon makes it taste a little weird too.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: aynrandgirl
                                                                                                                                      porker Feb 13, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                      The "Hehe" was the sound of my tongue in cheek - some chili guys are very passionate and I was making a lame joke...

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Feb 9, 2010 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                    PK: Without onions, especially frickin' dried!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                      Perilagu Khan Feb 9, 2010 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                      Akh, moi drug, but they don't stay dry.

                                                                                                                                  3. Scrofula Feb 14, 2010 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                                    My chili/chili-like dish uses chopped tri tip, ground beef, onions, garlic, toasted cumin seeds, oregano, a bit of jarred tomato sauce, lots of Indian red chili powder, diced fresh jalapeno, and a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder. Small shakes of cinnamon and cloves; not enough to detect. I find that the mixture of chopped and ground meat gives the best of both worlds -- meaty chunks, as well as beefy goodness that melts into a thick sauce. I do tend to throw in a can of pintos when it's close to done, but it works fine without it. If you do add the beans, it's not much good until it's had a chance to sit in the fridge overnight.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Scrofula
                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Feb 14, 2010 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                                      I like the "chili/chili (chile sic) -like dish" term. How about chilli/chili-like stew? Funny, I'm a religious zealot about my chile, but agnostic about ketchup on hot dogs.
                                                                                                                                      Carpe chow!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Scrofula
                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Feb 14, 2010 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                        WO the beans, that sounds like a pretty decent formula you've got there.

                                                                                                                                        What is this Indian chili powder of which you speak? Is it a pure powdered chile or a spice blend?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                          Scrofula Feb 22, 2010 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                                          Just ground red chillies, the kind you get in South Asian groceries.

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