I know I am late...
I am no chef, not an expert in chili, just someone that loves cooking.
I was at a company picnic and couldn't join in the Chili Cook off they were having because... I just don't make very good chili.... so I set out to learn. I know my chili was ok, canned chili is ok and my kids didn't care if I made it or they ate it from a can.
I read so many recipes and even tried a few. I wasn't wowed.
Then I happened upon a site talking about "the chili queens" and was excited to read the history of chili! now that was interesting! and there are several sites that talk about the Chili Queens - this one has recipes at the bottom
History and Legends of Chili, Chili Con Carne
I do hope you enjoy the history of chili... "no tomatoes were harmed in the making of chili!"
Just one recipe for the Chili Queens recipes
#1 Original San Antonio Chili : NPR
other old recipes Antique Chili Recipes
The next site I found was this one! I read every thread on chili and every post here for chili and found this discussion to be a real opportunity to better understand how to make chili. "Authentic" Texas Chili
- Authentic Texas Chili. (I wish Audeo and Lifter would come back because I would have loved to throw a question in here and there)
What I found is, it doesn't matter if you use meat only or beans only or a combination of both, what matters is the "Gravy"! I didn't know that. I know beans were not used in the original chili recipes because they would have been hard to come by. Meat would have been easier to find. I can see though, how beans would have been introduced into chili for many reasons, cheaper, easier to store, and easier to obtain, just as good nutritionally, and filling.
It seems that the Gravy was made from... Chilis! and all this time I thought all chilis were hot.. oh how wrong I was! I eat pickled peppers and love the flavor and hotness. But
I diced all my meat as the chili queens described... I can see now why ground meat is used!!!!! I have decided while I love the texture the diced meat brings to the chili, I will use a combination of both... ground and diced... I have a meat grinder so I do grind my own. Some of it I will hold out for dicing.
I bought whole chilies and soaked them in hot water then blend them up in my blender.... it worked fine but found some of the skin of the pepper when I ate it. Not a big deal but next time I will try grinding the peppers first.
I did add Cherizo and liked the flavor it brought to the chili.
No where is there tomatoes in these chili recipes. Hope this helps you create a great chili recipe. I am still working on mine but oh does it get better each time I make it. With Winter upon us... and all this talk of chili... I am hungry!