So many people have been ordering our pure chile powders to prepare for the various regional cook-offs, reminding me that I really would love for you chili cookers to use our fabulous pure, all natural, organic chiles. So I am putting all of them on a half price special for tomorrow--Wednesday. The grand national/international cook-offs are later in the fall.
Through the years I have really enjoyed exhibiting and judging all kinds of cook-offs. And, in my Chili Madness cookbooks, I developed the "chili fitness" hints, which are great fun and really important to follow for winning results. (I am putting both the second and third edition on a 20% of sale for a one day sale for you--these are very worthwhile cookbooks and lots of fun to read and use.
A few very important "Chili Fitness" hints from my book are--
1. Select a pot with a flat bottom that is heavy enough to allow long low simmering and one with straight sides. Forget the lid--never use it.
2. Select the very best and freshest ingredients (that is why our chiles, cumin and Mexican Oregano are so important).
3.The best cut of meat for traditional chili is chuck which is by USDA standards 20% fat allowing for the chile flavors to completely absorb into the meat which should be hand cut into 1/2 inch squares--smaller for competition to allow the flavors to penetrate.
4. Use just enough fat for flavor and do not drain or skim away fat.
5. Let it simmer slowly to develop flavor.
6. Taste liberally to determine the best flavor. A hint--add half the cumin while cooking the rest just before serving.
These hints are very important and greatly condensed from the complete hints in my cookbook.
Here's the most winning recipe ever--
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, divided
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 half the cumin to the 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, adding the remaining cumin.
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.
Jane's Southwest Recipes and more great ideas for cooking with chiles.
And another award winning chili--
PEDERNALES RIVER CHILI
This chili is reported to have been Lyndon Johnson’s favorite chili—it comes from deep in the
heart of Texas.
Yield: serves 8
3 Tablespoons lard or bacon drippings
4 pounds coarsely ground lean beef
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium-size cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups boiling water
1 28.5 ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved
¼ cup pure, ground, hot red chile, or to taste
2 Tablespoons pure, ground, mild red chile, or to taste
1. Melt the lard in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat, breaking up any lumps with a fork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is even browned.
2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in 3 teaspoons salt, the oregano, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, the boiling water and the tomatoes with their liquid. Gradually stir in the ground chiles, tasting the mixture after each addition until you achieve the degree of hotness and flavor that suits your palate. Bring the chili to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are well blended, at least 1 hour.
4. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon cumin, and adjust the seasonings to taste.