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Ausmerican.
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The base seasoning for my chili is McCormick Hot Mexican Chili Powder. Add a few habenero peppers per pound of beef (stew beef cut into cubes) and beer.

The beef gets lightly floured then browned in a little oil. Add habaneros and chili powder with enough beer to cover. Simmer for 4-6 hours.
 

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Real chili has neither beans or tomatoes. I have a fantastic chili recipe that is a family secret. But if I told you, I'd have to shoot you.

K
 

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Making chili is like reloading - the eternal quest for the ideal combination of ingredients...

My chili philosophy is that good chili makes your forehead damp, great chili makes your eyeballs sweat!

I use 4 jalapeño and 1 habañero peppers per pound of meat; spices include cayenne, crushed red pepper, cilantro, cumin, and sage. The spices go into 12 oz. of beer (lager - nothing heavy or strongly flavored) at least 2 hours before I start cooking; that draws out & melds the spice flavors.

If it's available to you, try using ground bison (North American buffalo); it's quite lean, so you'll need a bit of oil while browning it, and may have to cut back the spice & pepper measures as well since there won't be as much fat there (the fats can moderate the spices' & peppers' strength).

Although some consider it heresy, I put beans in my chili - either kidney or pinto, depending on my inclination at the time. (I do draw the line at some of the more extreme additives, though - I've heard it said that some people even add chocolate [shudder!!!]; I'd expect that to be an acquired taste, but one I don't think I'd want to develop.)

It's getting to be that chili time of year - I'll have to make up a batch soon!
 

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This is stupid-easy. Try it as is before embellishing it with beer or chocolate or whatever.
Not "real" chili? Then call it something else. It's still pretty good eatin'.;)

1-1/2 lbs. coarse grind, ground beef

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 – 10 oz. cans Ro*Tel tomatoes with chili, drained
(“Original” style makes it plenty spicy.)

1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce

2 tbs. cumin

2 tbs. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 – 15 oz. can, kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 – 15 oz. can, black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup water

In a large pot, brown the meat with the onions and peppers.
Drain and return to pot.
Stir in the tomatoes, seasonings, and water.
Bring to a boil, then add the beans, and simmer, covered for two hours.
 

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I make another recipe for the family that they prefer with(horrors) beans and tomatoes, and it is pretty good, but I don't have a recipe, I just make it adding the spices as I go until it's right. I've never measured the amounts of the spices.
The one that James is referring to is for special occasions.
http://rugerforum.net/wild-game-recipes/103498-cowboy-chili.html
 

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Real chili has neither beans or tomatoes. I have a fantastic chili recipe that is a family secret. But if I told you, I'd have to shoot you.

K
I was just about to say the same thing!!

Mother was born and raised in southwest TEXAS at the turn of the last century. She migrated to New England where she married my Father.

Growing up, my sister and I, were fed chili instead of chicken soup when we looked or sounded like we were getting a cold.

Her chili did not contain any beans or tomatoes just meat, onions and those evil little chili peppers her sister sent us every so often.

And, here I am, 75 years later, still making chili the right way! I have never shared her recipe with anyone and don't expect me too either.
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Real chili has neither beans or tomatoes. I have a fantastic chili recipe that is a family secret. But if I told you, I'd have to shoot you.

K
I am kinda in the same boat, Firemen never reveal their secret chili recipe, its a firehouse mystery. :D We always enjoy a good chili especially when its cold outside.;)
 

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My mom almost always had an old heavy cast iron pot of something simming low 'n slow on the stove back burner. And chili was often cooking in that pot. The idea of putting beans in -her- chili is just plain sacrilegious. You could put them in yours, but she wouldn't allow it was chili. And wouldn't eat it, either. That was almost always on the chili cook-off list of rules, and usually Rule One: "No Beans!". The recipe to chili is right in the name, or the full name, chili con carne. Stewed chili peppers with meat. Not much else is really needed.

Mom wasn't at all picky about the meat that went into it, usually it was the cheapest cuts in the butcher case, often a day or two past the "sell by" date. And she wasn't above road-kill, either. If Dad caught a couple of rattlers, they got cut up and thrown into the pot, as did a squirrel or an armadillo when it wasn't wary enough. More than one pot had turtle added. Don't want to guess about some of her other mystery chili meats. Nothing got wasted, though, firm rule with her.

Mom had two great secrets to her chili cooking: #1 was beer, just a plain standard lager. She loved Shiner, but even Pabst Blue Ribbon got put to use. She always steamed the meat with beer rather than browning it in oil. Often several bottles went into the pot, and several went into her, too! Good chili is not a sober food. Secret #2 was the several grindings of nutmeg she'd add near the end of the cooking. It tempered the chili peppers so they weren't so blasting hot, but still had all the flavor. And added a bit of its own hum to the chili experience. Nutmeg was her magic pixie dust of cooking, and was the great secret behind her special spaghetti sauce.

She actually had one more secret, although it would have never occurred to her that it would be one. She would cook the chili to a certain point determined by its color and consistency, not flavor. It would taste good, but not great. She would put the lid on the pot and set it on a cold burner. And let it sit overnight. Her chili never was put in the ice box. Next day she'd turn the burner low and simmer the chili back up. And then it was great! Just a tad of fermentation to add to the taste profile, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My mom almost always had an old heavy cast iron pot of something simming low 'n slow on the stove back burner. And chili was often cooking in that pot. The idea of putting beans in -her- chili is just plain sacrilegious. You could put them in yours, but she wouldn't allow it was chili. And wouldn't eat it, either. That was almost always on the chili cook-off list of rules, and usually Rule One: "No Beans!". The recipe to chili is right in the name, or the full name, chili con carne. Stewed chili peppers with meat. Not much else is really needed.

Mom wasn't at all picky about the meat that went into it, usually it was the cheapest cuts in the butcher case, often a day or two past the "sell by" date. And she wasn't above road-kill, either. If Dad caught a couple of rattlers, they got cut up and thrown into the pot, as did a squirrel or an armadillo when it wasn't wary enough. More than one pot had turtle added. Don't want to guess about some of her other mystery chili meats. Nothing got wasted, though, firm rule with her.

Mom had two great secrets to her chili cooking: #1 was beer, just a plain standard lager. She loved Shiner, but even Pabst Blue Ribbon got put to use. She always steamed the meat with beer rather than browning it in oil. Often several bottles went into the pot, and several went into her, too! Good chili is not a sober food. Secret #2 was the several grindings of nutmeg she'd add near the end of the cooking. It tempered the chili peppers so they weren't so blasting hot, but still had all the flavor. And added a bit of its own hum to the chili experience. Nutmeg was her magic pixie dust of cooking, and was the great secret behind her special spaghetti sauce.

She actually had one more secret, although it would have never occurred to her that it would be one. She would cook the chili to a certain point determined by its color and consistency, not flavor. It would taste good, but not great. She would put the lid on the pot and set it on a cold burner. And let it sit overnight. Her chili never was put in the ice box. Next day she'd turn the burner low and simmer the chili back up. And then it was great! Just a tad of fermentation to add to the taste profile, I guess.
Oh God that sounds good, even the nutmeg. Mom wins again.
 

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Ausmerican.
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versatile -

Chili is versatile. You stick to a general standard pattern - chilis or chili powder, some kind of beef (it is a matter of pride to make the lousiest beef taste great), salt, and a little water.

Go from there. I don't try to make it hot, but to showcase the great variety of flavors in chili peppers.

I vary the onions. Just throw them in, toast them, saute them to sweetness, etc.

I think beer adds moisture, but I have never thought it adds flavor - no offense to anyone's momma - and I have done chili with Shiner-

I use red wine. I stew/brown the meat in red wine - burgundy or chianti - then add more as I mix everything - I "reduce" the moisture to get flavor in there.

Lots of garlic.

Secret to a distinct, unique but great chili: finely grated ginger.

I don't like bell peppers just thrown in - I think they should be roasted or sauteed.

Authentic chili had no tomato. Just meat and chili and water and salt. Feel free to alter how much tomato or tomato sauce you might use.

Aging. I do a lot of tricky stuff (adding both sauteed and toasted onions, etc.), and the unique flavor only shows up on Day 2.

Labor-intensive secret: get dried chilis, soak them, then scrape the "meat" away from the skin of the chili. This will create an aroma 10 times more than bottled chili powde, and a richer flavor.
 
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