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Old 11-08-2015, 09:54 AM   #11
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I have the perfect recipe for Texas Red Chili. It is the official state chili as ratified by both houses of the legislature in Austin. HOWEVER, it is illegal to share to with those who were not fortunate enough to be born in the Great State of Texas. Just made some last night....sure was good.


"I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world. The best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw, and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here."
Davy Crockett, 1836
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
Chief, give the following a read. You may have already read it, but there are a number of suggestions (all of which I have not tried yet) that may lead you to your goal.
The Food Lab: Best Chili Ever

Good luck!
Funny. Kenji says not to use pre-made chili powder because it's inconsistent while making your own is better. Bobby Flay lost a chili throwdown because he made his own and the champion used pre-made. Manufactured goods are designed to be consistent but individual chiles vary in flavor and heat.

I'm not a chili fan, so I don't have a secret to offer. I would include Mexican oregano, though. Not Mediterranean.

Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:11 AM   #13
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My one and only chili story dates from when I used to live in Las Vegas in the late 1980s/early 1990s. My then roommate and I decided to enter the International Chili Society competition held at the Circus Circus. In order to compete in their competition, you have to follow their rules. This means no beans, pasta, or toppings of any sort in your entry. Well, I already had a recipe at the time that I liked, but it contained beans, so I had to reformulate it to meet the guidelines.

Here are the official ICS competition rules:
ICS | International Chili Society

There were some 300+ entries the year my buddy and I entered. Overall, we came in at 18th place. It doesn't sound very impressive now, but at the time we were ecstatic we cracked the top 5% or so, especially considering neither of us had any competition experience.

That was my first and last competition and I have long since lost that recipe, but the gist of it was this:
  • The only thing the rules stated was that you use "meat." Most contestants use only beef, but we used a combination of cubed beef, pork, and lamb. All fatty cuts.
  • Rather than canned tomatoes or sauce, we bought fresh tomatoes at the farmers market, and then blanched, peeled, and seeded them. It was the bulk of the work, but as far as I'm concerned it lent a real freshness to the flavor. I thought a lot of the other entries we sampled lacked that freshness.
  • Fresh garlic and onions - and lots of it. A few fresh peppers add something as well.
  • I didn't use commercial chili powder. Instead I bought dried guajillo, ancho, de arbol chiles (Las Vegas has some awesome hispanic markets). These were toasted, then reconstituted in some broth, and pureed in a blender. Again, fresh flavor was the result. We also made our own blend of toasted spices with cumin and coriander seed, and ground it in a mortar and pestle. The only dried herb I used was oregano.
Almost all of the seasoned veterans stuck to using prepackaged spices. I really thought that ours stood out for having a freshness that other recipes lacked. The judges must have thought the same thing, because it was remarked on more than once.

While we didn't win, it was still a lot of fun. At the time we were about 30 years old - mere kids compared to some of the grizzled old veterans in attendance. It was also great to have some of the old timers taste our concoction and remark that it was "not bad," which is considered high praise among that crowd.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:17 AM   #14
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For the meat I use ground beef from Highland cattle only.
Very lean and coarse but very tasty.
My secret ingredient is to add a tiny amount of creamy peanut butter and a drop or two of anchovy paste for extra umami.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:17 AM   #15
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18th in a chili cookoff is fantastic.
One note, the veterans use prepackaged or their own perfected blend (that they put together at home before the cookoff so the flavors meld) for consistency.
Same with the barbecue cookoffs.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #16
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I cut up boneless chuck roast and brown it deeply for chili.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:43 PM   #17
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We like to add smoked sausage to our chili. I usually will cut it into rounds then quarter the rounds so you have small enough pieces to eat. I add either apple jelly or Hershey's syrup to mine depending on my mood. Never entered a chili contest but we like it.
I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:17 PM   #18
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If you consider the origin of chili con carne back in the 1800s and where it was used, you have to believe it was a fairly basic dish.

Some sources indicate the original CCC was just meat and chiles. The addition of ingredients such as onions and other available seasonings makes some sense. The addition of beans as a cheap way to stretch the dish also makes sense. Especially as they keep forever in dried form. On the other hand, I can't imagine there were a lot of fresh or canned tomatoes in the chuck wagon on a cattle drive.

You may choose to add chocolate, fruit juice, and other non-traditional ingredients and the result may be outstanding but at some point it's not CCC any more.

I use a world championship recipe that includes meat, various ground chiles (both hot and not), tomato, water, oregano, garlic, onion, cumin, masa and salt. I find the flavor is more dependent on the meat and how well it's browned than anything else. It comes out of the pot as a thick stew.

Just my opinion.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I cut up boneless chuck roast and brown it deeply for chili.
I also chop my chili meat. About 1/4-1/2 in cubes. Browned.
I also add mild Italian sausage and smoky bacon.

Never had a complaint.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:31 PM   #20
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Lightbulb Paniolo Chili


... Just a thought ...

My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert ~ Wait, What? This Isn't Hawaii?
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