You may have noticed: IT’S COLD!  And it’s going to get just as cold tonight as it did last night, and perhaps more.  What to do – what to do?

For me and my house we’re going to have chili.

I wasn’t going out today except to the mailbox, but in order to make my regionally famous Border Chili, ( any border will do ) I would need to go out and find the beef. I always love an excuse to go to Bow Street Market and that is where I can get the natural beef we eat when we eat beef.  It’s local and un-medicated.

Here is my formula for a dynamite bowl of red.  Go on – you know you wanted to know.

2 lbs of Pineland Farms stew meat cut into small bits of various sizes.  If you want to add a little regular ground meat you can.  Maybe some pork or squirrel.

8 cups of water to which is added two cans of beef consommé.  This really kicks up the beef flavor

Two good sized onions chopped coarsely

7 to 10 large cloves of garlic minced 

About 1/3 cup of sliced jalapeños.  

Around 8 or 9 T of chili powder.  I use Pendery’s Original and Top Hat with a little New Mexican Chimayo for flavor.  Check http://www.penderys.com  for a good source.  Obviously, you can use any chili powder you want, but I can vouch for the quality and flavor of these which I buy by 1/2 to 1 pound amounts.

Bring the liquid to a boil and add the meat stirring to break up the pieces that stick together.  There is going to be lots of foaming.  Skim off the darker parts and stir down the rest.  You are not going to eliminate it all.

When the meat has cooked – about 15 minutes of this vigorous boiling – add the onion, garlic and chili powders.  You might want to reserve a third of the chili powders to test the taste after a couple of hours and add the rest to adjust the taste. Aw, just throw the lot into the pot.  You will love it.

Turn the fire down to low and let it alone, except for the occasional stirring, for 3 or 4 hours.  Keep an eye on the liquid and add some water now and then to keep the level up but do not thin it too much.

I like a little body to my chili.  There are several ways to achieve this but my favorite is to use some masa.  It can be found where ever the corn meal and flour is found. You will find, Masa Harina, which is a corn flour used extensively in Mexican cooking.  I take about a third of a cup of masa and whisk into it about a cup or so of water or the hot liquid.  Use enough liquid to make a thin mix.  Stir this into the chili and this seems to do the trick.  Remember, you don’t have to thin it at all.

Taste as you go along.  You’ll know when it is right.  Tasting as you go you will find a not so subtile improving and blending of the flavors used in the recipe.

You will notice I didn’t mention salt and pepper.  Be careful it seems to be savory enough.  The consommé contains salt as well as some of the chili powders.

Just eating chili as it is is great.  But I like it over a little rice.  Now and then I love some grated cheddar on top.  If it is too warm for you tender lipped souls out there, have a dollop of sour cream with some chives on the side with which you can dress the occasional spoon.

It goes without saying that a little cornbread couldn’t hurt a thing.  Perhaps a glass of porter.

You will notice I didn’t mention beans.  Put them in if you want.  You might be interested in knowing that not a single Terlingua Champion has ever put a bean in his/her chili.  

You know, just talking about this has warmed me up considerably.  I hope it helps you as much.  

Stay warm.  And stay tuned.

1 Comment

  1. ups will ship!!!!b

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