I took the garbage can out to the curb tonight and shivered. I know I was just in shorts, flip-flops and a tee shirt, but I shivered. Maybe it was because my friends back in the mid-west said they had an inch of snow and it was down in the 20s. Maybe that was it. Anyway, I knew it was time to start a batch of chili.
Everybody has their own idea of what a bowl of chili should be. However, you must realize there are designated rules for a bowl of red. There has been for years. So stop putting damn beans or pasta in the bowl…that’s not chili. You can call it chili beans if you like but it’s not chili. If anyone wants the official recipe rules, let me know and I’ll send the link.
I was lucky to be an international chili competition judge for a number of years back in the ‘90s. The contest I loved judging was the one in Ensenada, Mexico. It was the last contest that qualified the winner for the World Championship. Back then the World Championship Chili Cook-off was held in Reno, Nevada. Last month the Championship was held in Palm Springs. It was the 47th Annual World Championship. They also crown the Chili Verde Champ and the Salsa Champ during the same cook-off.
In Ensenada we would have as many as 50 teams cooking off, because it was their last chance to make the big show. Obviously we couldn’t sample 50 chili bowls, so they would set up two tables and divide the 12 judges. Each table would pick the five best and combine them and then we would all sample the last 10.
Back in 1967, the bad-ass car designer, Carroll Shelby (Shelby Mustang) owned some land in Terlingua, Texas and the first ever contest started there. Later, Shelby would start the restaurant chain (Chili’s) and sold it for a pot-load of money. It still has the most traditional chili-cook-off chili of any restaurant in town. Ask for a bowl of Terlingua Red.
Over the years, I developed a taste for hot. I like hot BBQ, hot Thai food, hot Korean food and spicy hot chili. Here’s my recipe if you’d like to try it. It’s really not that hot. I make mine hotter after cooking. After all, my wife and friends have to eat it too.
1 top sirloin (about 2 pounds) cut into 1″ cubes
or if you want to impress somebody use Filet Mignon
or use chuck roast
1 bottle or can of beer
1 cup Masa Harina (corn flour) (Lassen’s has Bob’s Red Mill)
4 tablespoons ground Anaheim Chile (or substitute chili powder)
4 tablespoons grape seed oil (coconut oil ok)
1 pound ground pork (about 15% fat)
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped onion
1 can (14.5 oz.) Swanson’s™ beef broth
1 can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
1 can (4 oz.) Ortega™ Diced Green chilies
2 diced Jalapeno peppers (seeds removed)
1 diced Serrano pepper (seeds removed or die)
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin (grind whole cumin seeds yourself if possible)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
In a large bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the ground chili with the Masa Harina. Dredge the meat in the Masa mixture and brown it in the beer-oil. Place the meat in a Dutch oven. In the skillet brown the pork with the bell pepper and onion, add to the Dutch oven. Add all of the other ingredients (including the remaining ground chili), cover and bake at 275 degrees for 5-7 hours.