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#1122 - Feeling Chili?
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February 19, 2013 #1122 Feeling Chili?
When we had the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, I renewed an annual tradition by making my own recipe for Super Bowl Chili, and it was a hit. I don't think I've ever made it the same way twice, but it always seems to work out just fine. I think that's because I have a secret trick...and Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen agrees that everyone who is serious about chili has a secret trick...or two.
(Al's secret is to prepare the meat in two batches, then use a submersible blender to process the meat, which is added back into the broth, making it think and meaty.)
Original chili probably originated in the American West, as an easy one pot meal for hungry cow punchers. They used dried beef, onions, salt, pepper and dried chili peppers for their stew. The cook got it started over a campfire while the cowpokes patrolled the perimeter. An hour or two of cooking and it was ready.
Today's Texas Chili is pretty much the same thing, with the possible addition of some tomatoes; but no beans or anything else. East of the Pecos, folks do like to tinker with the recipe and work a few extras into it. Its may not be classic, but devotees of Eastern bean laden chili like their version just fine.
Al's first exposure to chili dates back to his childhood when his dad gave him a collection of the humorous writings of H. Allen Smith, the Garrison Keeler of the WWII era. Smith was proud of his chili and boasted about it in print. Texans took umbrage, and in 1967, challenged him to a duel. The result was a tie, and a validation of a less stringent approach. Here is a copy of chili in the manner of H. Allen Smith.
H. Allen Smith's Classic Chili Recipe
(From the website What's Cooking America)
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
4 pounds beef sirloin or tenderloin, coarse chili grind
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
4 cups water
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons ground hot red chili peppers
1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon cumin seed or ground cumin Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil or butter (or a blend of the two) in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the meat to the pot. Break up any lumps with a fork and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is evenly browned.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.