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Nov 30, 2011 08:55 PM

Your Best No-Bean Chili Recipe?

I'm depending on my trusted CH friends...I need to make a delicious no-bean chili for 25 people. What's the best recipe you've made and/or tasted?

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  1. fun, for me, chili is just a meat stew with mexican/cumin flavorings. This is labor intensive if you do the smoked ingredients (but so outstanding); otherwise it's pretty straightforward. I won a local chili contest with this. If you don't have or want to smoke the pork and other ingredients, just roast a pork shoulder andskip the smoking step for the vegetables. If you do make it, plse tell me how it went!


    Pork Shoulder, 8-9 lb.,
    Brined 8 hrs., smoked 5-6 hrs, cooled, defatted, cut in 1⁄2 - 3⁄4 “ cubes ***

    8 c. pork stock made from pork shoulder bones,etc.
    Cooked 8 hrs., strained, cooled, refrig’d,de-fatted

    1 6 lb. can pastene plum tomatoes, strained,smoked 2-3 hrs., chopped ***
    1 6lb can “” “””””, strained and chopped
    Some of the remaining juices/sauce from these canned tomatoes
    Rendered Pork or bacon fat- 1/2 c.

    2 lb. Portuguese chorizo, halved,sliced, sautéed til fat is rendered

    3 lg. onions (12-14 OU.@), smoked 2-3 hrs., chopped and
    sautéed in chorizo fat &/or bacon fat ***
    1 lg onion, chopped and sautéed “”””””””””””””” ‘’’’’ ”””””””
    1 head of garlic, separated, peel on, smoked 2 hrs., peeled, minced, sautéed as above

    2 tsp + dry oregano, rubbed to release flavor
    1/3 c. pureed canned chipotles en adobo *

    8 c. peeled and cubed buttercup squash( 2-3 @ buttcup squash)
    tossed in some oil,s and p, and roasted 450 degrees 5-8 min til edges browned and just done.

    In 15 qt heavy pot, heat together the onion, chorizo, garlic, cubed pork.
    Add remaining ingreds. except squash. Bring to boil, turn down and simmer
    15 minutes. Add squash, adjust seasoning ( likely more chipotle puree, tomato or oregano.) Simmer 10 min.

    Makes 45 cups ( 1.5- 2 c. p. serving)

    * puree whole can. if has seeds, discard seeds before pureeing. puree freezes fine.
    *** I use a smoker that has a separate chamber for the fire.I have used hickory for the smoking chips.I smoke tomatoes, onions, garlic, on disposable half sheet pans that have been riddled with holes using a skewer.
    Smoked bone-in pork shoulder, in a plastic bag, stays fresh and fine at least 2 wks in the frig. This stew freezes very well. This must be about the only savory dish I make that has no added salt or pepper!

    This is adapted from Pork with Smoky Tomato Sauce from Rick Bayless’ Authentic Mexican.

    1 Reply
    1. People go nuts for this chili. I get begged to make it at any work potluck:

      1 Reply
      1. re: mels

        That recipe looks fabulous... meat, chilies..... mmmmmmm. Basic, but with a depth of flavor. I'll have to try it, I have a chuck steak out right now, planning on something in the slow cooker.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Amount of ingredients can vary because there are a gazillion chili recipes. More recently I started including home grown ghost peppers (bhut jolokia) to increase the excruciating heat.

          Texas-Style Chili
          (Modified for Supermarket Ingredient Availability*)

          3 large red bell peppers
          3 pounds of chuck roast, cut in ½” cubes
          2 tablespoons vegetable oil
          12 ounces of beer
          1 teaspoon of ground cumin
          2 tablespoons of paprika
          1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
          ½ to 2 teaspoons of ground cayenne
          3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
          1 tablespoon of oregano (preferably Mexican, Lippia graveolens**)
          3 jalapeño chiles, finely diced
          Salt and ground black pepper to taste
          2 teaspoons of masa harina (if needed)

          1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove seeds and stems. Place bell pepper halves skin side up on aluminum foil on oven rack, and roast until skin pulls away from flesh, and color of skin darkens somewhat. Remove peppers from oven to a plastic container and cover to steam for about 10 minutes. When cooled remove pepper skin and discard.

          2. Heat a 5-quart Dutch oven (preferably cast iron) at medium high temperature for about one minute, then add vegetable oil. Add ground cumin to hot oil and let cumin infuse in oil. Add diced onion to oil and sauté until it appears glazed. Add garlic and diced jalapenos, allow to sauté for about 2 minutes.

          3. Add cubed chuck roast, and immediately add beer. Do not brown meat before adding beer. Beer should cover meat. Bring briefly to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn down heat to a simmer, and allow to simmer uncovered for about one hour. Stir frequently to make sure each meat cube is cooked.

          4. Puree the roasted bell peppers. After meat has simmered for an hour, add pureed bell peppers, paprika, ground cayenne, oregano, and salt and black pepper. Allow brew to simmer uncovered until liquid has thickened so that a wooden stirring spoon stands upright. Add masa harina (fine cornmeal) if needed to thicken chili. Stir masa harina in well and allow to cook for about 10 minutes more.

          5. Serve with refried beans on the side and tortilla chips. Best if refrigerated and served next day. Serves 4 to 6 chiliheads.

          * Modified for ease of acquiring ingredients without resorting to mail order, and tomato products and beans have been intentionally omitted.

          ** Mexican oregano is a verbena, not in mint family like Mediterranean oregano.

          1 Reply
          1. Her is my best recipe. People go nuts over it!
            I do make a "few" changes. I add 1/2 tsp of the following cinnamon clove, allspice, and cayene. 1 tsp coriander, 1tbs cumin. I cook some bacon and cook meat in the grease from bacon i then add bacon to the final chili.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ctfoodie

              jeez... another good one! I like the ones that are beef and chilies, with some spices, and beef stock. No beans, no tomatoes. I'll have to try the masa as a thickener, I can imagine it adds flavor. yum!

              1. re: ctfoodie

                I saw that Texas Chili recipe and was considering it. This Boston Marathon Chili recipe also looks good (minus beans for this event).....


                P.S. Keep the ideas coming!