Friday, November 2, 2007

Chili Blogging

Inspired by this bleg from Michele and some slightly cooler temperatures in South Texas, I decided to cook up a pot and document the process for posterity.

The Ingredients

Although it's pictured, I wound up not using the tomato paste. The diced tomatoes were on sale 3 for $1. Now I know why. Stick with Ro-Tel.
Not pictured: BEER!
BTW, this is chili for households still containing small children. I've been working at desensitizing their little palates but we've only made it up to a medium on the picante scale so far.


I suppose you can use regular ground beef for chili. You can also use the pink tubes of mystery to make crab cakes but what's the point? Coarse ground beef for chili was $2.99 per pound whereas this 3lb. chuck roast was on sale for $1.99. Whittle into bite-sized chunks.
Over med-high heat (leaning to the "high" side) brown the meat in batches in veg oil. Using olive oil really doesn't accomplish anything here other than using up your expensive olive oil. Set the meat aside and reduce the heat a little. There should still be a little oil in the pot.
Onion and garlic.
The onion here hasn't browned, it's just picked up the fond from the meat. After the onion has softened, 5 to 7 minutes, thrown in the garlic.

Time for the spices

That's a heaping 1/4 cup of chili powder and a good tablespoon of cumin. Cooking the spices really blooms and mellows the flavor. A pinch or two of oregano couldn't hurt. Cook for a minute or two.

That's a 16oz. can of "Cheap Beer de Jour" Scrape the bottom of the pot and mix everything well. Let it come to a boil. Most of the foam should evaporate.
Add the meat back in and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to absorb the wonderful chili goodness. At this point, you've got (more or less) authentic Texas chili. You could just add a little water and continue simmering until the meat is melt in your mouth tender.

Texas Heresy
Throw in the beef bullion cube, Worcestershire, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Ranch Style Beans are wonderful. When I lived in Atlanta, I found them in the "imported" foods section of the grocery store. Imported from exotic Dallas, Texas. BTW, they make the best refried beans. Just warm up in a skillet and smash with a potato masher.
Rinse out each can and add a can full of water. I used ketchup instead of the tomato paste.(A good 2 second squirt.) Ketchup adds a bit of sweetness and doesn't overpower with tomato flavor.
Check for salt. Cover and let simmer for as long as you can stand it.

Serve naked. (That's a piece of ice to cool for little mouths)

Or fully dressed.


  1. OK, I'm spraying. Now I've just added 20 lbs to my shopping list for tomorrow.

    My toppers? shredded sharp cheddar, dollop of sour cream, a few oyster crackers if it's particularly wet. Instead of cornbread I like a dense multigrain toasted and buttered.

    I guess it's winter now.

  2. Don't go puttin' sour cream in my chili.
    I refuse to eat anything with the word "sour" in the name.
    There's a reason they call it that, ya know.
    Try some crema fresca with a squeeze of lime. You'll get the same taste without that whole...
    curdled thing.

  3. D4,

    Interesting! Although the Ranch Style Beans don't do anything for me. I've tried to like 'em. Really I have...

    But great minds must think alike. I made a batch of my chili tonight. Should be great for breakfast in the morning.


Please be civil.