Chili revelations

Chili has long been a subject of dissension at our abode.

HubbyBryan is a chili aficionado.

I am not.

For me, it’s because of the beans — one of my food foibles. It’s a texture thing.

I don’t do chili. I don’t do baked beans. I don’t do refried beans.

I will do green beans, but that’s it.

So chili hasn’t been on the menu at our house. Ever.Bryanhas to get his chili fix elsewhere.

But the other day, I came across a recipe — actually I printed it on the Lifestyles page last Monday — for a beanless chili, the like of which our friends inTexashave long enjoyed. They say real chili doesn’t have beans — an opinion I’m glad to proliferate.

So, for the first time ever, we had chili at our house last week And I have to say I rather liked it. The key to this chili are the layers of heat and flavor. The original recipe called for three different types of chili powder. Thanks to traveling relatives, I had someNew Mexicochili powder in the cupboard, and we found dried chipotle peppers in the grocery store, which I ground in the blender.

 I made a few other minor alterations to the recipe. And for those of you out there who prefer beans in their chili, I say go ahead and add them — just don’t invite me!

TexasRed Chili

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown 1 pound ground sirloin, 1 pound ground chuck and 1 large yellow onion, chopped.

Add two 10-ounce cans chopped tomatoes with chili peppers (Ro-Tel), one 12-ounce bottle beer (Lone Star makes it Texas-authentic, but any lighter beer will do), one 6-ounce can tomato paste, one large carrot, peeled and grated, 1 tablespoon dried cumin, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon New Mexican chili powder, 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Stir well, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

If chili is too thick, water or an additional beer (we used another half beer) may be added, a little bit at a time, so the chili doesn’t get too thin.

Serve with cornbread.

 

So far, there’s only been one response to my plea for comfort food recipes. It came from Becky Hudson of Slayton, daughter of former Daily Globe editor Lew Hudson and his wife, Irma, who now life in Baxter,

“I noticed that you were seeking comforting foods — well this is an oven stew that always does it for me,” emailed Becky. “I got the recipe from a dear friend, Grace Meier, who for years was the cook for the senior dining program inFuldaand Slayton.  She since has retired, but I’m sure they miss her fabulous culinary skills and loving care with which she prepared the food every day.  This recipe can be prepared for 12, 24 or 36 or 50 servings.  This stew is naturally served with delicious baking powder biscuits or the cheese biscuits you mentioneda couple weeks ago.  Delicious and so cozy ona cold winter’s evening!!”

Oven Stew

Brown 2 pounds beef with 1 onion, chopped, and 1 cup chopped celery. Add 8 potatoes, cubed, 1 cup tomato juice, 1 tablespoon tapioca, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook in a 325-degree oven for 3 hours.

 Here are the proportions for the larger quantities:

24 servings: 16 potatoes, 1½ pounds carrots, 2 cups celery, 3 medium onions 5 pounds beef, 2 cups tomato juice, 4 tablespoons tapioca, 2 tablespoons sugar and 4 teaspoons salt.

36 servings: 24 potatoes, 2 pounds carrots, 3 cups celery, 4 onions, 7 pounds beef, 6 cups tomato juice, 12 tablespoons tapioca, 6 tablespoons sugar, 8 teaspoons salt, 3 cups tomato juice, 4 tablespoons tapioca, 2 teaspoons sugar, 4 teaspoons salt.

 

Now won’t you follow Becky’s lead and share your favorite comfort food recipe? Email me at brickers@dglobe.com; send via regular mail to Lagniappe, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187; or check out this blog online at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com.

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