Blue Stater’s Texas Chili

Note to self: Make Ron’s Blue Stater’s Texas Chili this weekend. That sounds sooooo good…

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  1. I second that. I’ve never made chili with steak before, though I’ve made a very nice chicken chili before. I’ve used ground chicken successfully, too, but for some reason I’ve been unable to find any in my neck of the woods. I suppose Safeways are good for something after all. 😉

  2. Not bad, but I’d make a few changes:
    1. All Kidney beans or Kidneys and Pintos. Black Beans?? I thought this was Texas Chile, not California
    2. Forget the beef broth, use beer instead
    3. At least twice the onions, and, for the love of God, LOSE THE RED BELL PEPPER
    4. If you want thickener, I’d use a few tablespoons of masa harina, not tomato paste
    5. “we’ll also need chilli powder, chipotle pepper powder, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, thyme, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and red wine”
    OK, I have to step in here. You need chiles, preferably a mixture of half anchos and half other varieties like pasilla, New Mexico, etc. If not using fried chiles, pure ground chile like Ancho powder or a mixture of Ancho and others is fine – just try to make sure it’s fresh.
    The you’re going to need like 2-3 tablespoons of cumin, which is one of the main spices in “chile powder. Ideally, you get whole cumin seeds, toast them a bit over dry heat, then grind them. Pre-ground cumin is OK, but again, try to make it fresh. Chipotle pepper POWDER? I have no idea what that is. Get 1-2 of the little cans of chipotles in adobo sauce. Be careful, this is what adds a lot of the fire. Salt, pepper, sugar . . .fine. Oregano – good. Mexican oregano is the best, but it’s kind of hard to find in Texas, so it’s probably all-but-impossible in Australia. Thyme, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and red wine: no, I don’t think any of these things were used by the chile queens in San Antonio in the 1920’s. Olive oil would probably be OK, but you could use plain old vegetable or corn oil. Or get really authentic and use what the Queens probably did, lard. I’m trying to fathom why one would put Balsamic Vinegar in Chile Con Carne . . . that would seem to the detriment of both things. A cup or so of strong coffee is actually a good flavouring thing, though. And I would absolutely add a couple of good bunches of cilantro and the juice of about 3 limes.

  3. Leave it to men to get all precious about chili. 🙂

    At any rate, I made my own version of Ron’s chili yesterday. The steak was easy to get, but damn it’s expensive down here! 1.2 kilos set me back about $35. (Granted, I went to a good butcher, but Cole’s didn’t have it for much less.) It broke my heart to take those lovely big steaks and shred them up, though! Black beans are virtually unknown here, so I was forced to use all kidney beans. Ditto on the chipotle (in any form), so I went with “Mexican chili powder” and “hot chili powder”. I doubled up on the onion and cut the capsicum because the Snook hates it. (I would’ve loved to keep it though.) The big change I made was in the cooking: I did it in the crock pot. I mean, I cooked the garlic and meat and onion all as specified, but then I dumped everything in the crock pot, set it on auto, and went out to my knitting group. Three hours later it was smelling delicious. It was bit soupier than I normally like my chili (presumably because it didn’t boil down in the crock pot) and we toyed with the idea of putting it back on the stove and reducing it down. But we were too tired and decided just to treat it as a soup anyway. Very, very yum. So while I wasn’t exactly authentic to Ron’s recipe, it was at least a step up from my usual mince version.

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