With Chili Cookoffs soaring in popularity--perhaps you would like to sharpen your skills with our perfectly pure red chile powders and a couple of award winning recipes from past International Chili Society Cook-offs (ICS). This year the ICS cook-off will be the last weekend in September in St. Louis and I will be there autographing my latest edition of Chili Madness as well as being one of the Chili Judges. I would love to see you there and sign a book for you!
This week, we are placing a 25% off special on our mild and hot chiles and our cumin The difference in pure powders, such as our Pecos Valley Spice Co. products, is that they are not blended with other spices and seasonings and further more do not have any preservatives or non caking agents added.
The blended chili powder, which is perhaps the first mix--long before Betty Crocker--was originally made by Gebhart for the Confederate Army marching out of Texas. You see Texas was always long on beef as they had advertised free land in European newspapers and several Europeans took them up on it and moved there with their herds of cattle. Soon the imigrants found there was no market for their beef as there was no way to get the cattle to market before the advent of the railroads, which spurred the Texans to eat lots of beef--making chili one of their favorite foods.
By the way the standard formula for the blended chili powder is 40% ground chile, 40% salt and 20% flavorings and preservatives. So it is no wonder that using lots of chili powder in foods creates a very strong and salty flavor...not an award winning taste. Fresh, fresh cumin, such as our Pecos Valley product, is also very important for great tasting chili and you get the greatest cumin flavor if you add half the cumin a recipe calls for when cooking it and add the balance just before serving.
Experiment with various chili recipes and develop your very own special great tasting chili. The Bowl of Red my maternal Grandfather came up with is a recipe that was popular with the trail cooks who cooked and fed the cowboys driving the herds of beef cattle to the rail head in Dodge City , KS. You can use that basic recipe and add various other ingredients and have fun developing your own chili. You can also substitute ingredients such as adding beer for part or all of the water, etc.
Here's my recipes--
Bowl O’ Red - Classic Chili Recipe
The influence behind this chili recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who when working with the Santa Fe Railroad learned how to prepare it from the “cookies,” or trail cooks. It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chilis.
2 Tablespoons shortening, preferably solid shortening such as lard or butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 medium-size garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup ground hot chile or to taste
¼ cup ground mild chile
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
About 3 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Heat lard in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Remove from heat.
2. Add meat, garlic, ground chiles and cumin to pot. Break up any lumps. Stir in the water and salt. Return to heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Serve with fixin’s ‘n mixins’ of coarsely grated cheeses, pickled jalapenos, chopped onion and sour cream with lime wedges garnished with a “ruffle” of red chile.
Above recipe is from Jane's 2nd edition of "Chili Madness" which has and more great ideas for cooking with chiles.
This chili is for serious hot chili lovers, who like the smokiness of Chipotles, which always add a smokey richness that is truly habit forming! I much prefer to reconstitute the dried traditional chipotles (not the moritas) or use chipotle powder ground from the traditional chipotles as they are much smokier and authentic tasting. (Traditional chipotles are made by long, slow smoking in banana leaves.)
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 Tablespoon bacon drippings
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds beef chuck, cut in ½ inch cubes with some fat left in
½ cup ground pure, hot chile
4 dried chipotle pods reconstituted by simmering in water with a splash of vinegar for 30 minutes or 5 minutes in a quart liquid measuring cup, covered in the microwave. Or, substitute 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin, divided
¼ cup dry red wine
1. In a large pot, melt the bacon drippings. When hot, add the onion and cook until they are clear and starting to brown. Remove from heat and stir in garlic and meat. Then add the chiles, half the cumin and water to cover by one inch.
2. Bring to a high heat and when just starting to bubble, reduce to a low heat and simmer for two to three hours. Simmer until very tender and the flavors are blended. Add remaining cumin and wine and cook briefly. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with fixin’s ‘n mixin’s of sour cream with lime wedges, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chopped onion.