Hello everyone. I am on the hunt for a really good beanless chili. My kids love chili but I just can't get them to eat beans. I have come across many recipes but am not sure if they are any good. Hoping someone has an amazing recipe that they have used for years.
Thanks to all.
If you believe Frank Tolbert's classic little book "A Bowl of Red" (1953), the original Texas chili was made with bite size or very coarsely ground beef, browned in beef suet with garlic only. It is then cooked in an Ancho chile puree with ground cumin and oregano. Masa harina was sometimes used to thicken it towards the end of cooking. That's it -- no beans, tomatoes, or onions.
This is a superb and pure base that you can riff on. You can add some tomatoes, but don't overdo it. If the chili needs thinning you can use beef stock. You can add some hotter dried chiles to the puree like arbol or Thai. A few pieces of dried fruit can also go into the puree -- golden raisins or prunes -- but again, don't over do it. Other exotics, like coffee, cocoa powder, Mexican chocolate, cilantro, etc, can be added, but now you're really straying. You can also use some ground and some cubed meat.
The key is to use the chile puree, not powder. One you've used it, you know why -- it has a deep even flavor, not "spiky" and transient like powder. Pour boiling water over your chiles, soak for 20 minutes, then puree in the blender.
Instead of the masa harina, which has a raw taste, I like to use a few toasted or fried corn tortillas, pureed up with a little of the cooking liquid.
Pinto beans and chopped raw onion on the side are perfectly acceptable.