As a young girl I learned – as all good Texas girls do – to respect the Chili. On any given weekend, in any given town in Texas, a Chili cook-off can be found. The contest I attended with regularity during my teen years was the Annual Garland Association of Realtors Chili Cook-off – AGARCC. In Texas, even realtors have secret recipes of this venerated dish.
I know I risk painting a bromide picture of my youth in a suburb of Big D with this information. But these events were fun. They filled my adolescent senses with smells of beer and chili, mixed with the sounds of boots scooting across the dance floor in time to the live country western music. I was too young for the beer, but I remember being told that many of the recipes had beer in them. I imagined after each taste-testing that I might start to stumble over my own size-8 Ropers. I didn’t.
Because of this upbringing, I was a little scared of creating my own chili recipe for The Big Game. After all, I was taught that not everyone is qualified to make chili and many people never perfect it. Pish posh! Or as we say in Texas . . . well, it involves a bull and it’s the alternate name for “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”
Give this recipe a try and buy yourself some Wranglers. You don’t need Texas genes to make it, but Texas jeans couldn’t hurt ya none.
I have Big D’s (not Big D’s) endorsement. He says it’s the best chili ever! I didn’t get any pictures while I was preparing this recipe. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it enough to share. I’ll be more optimistic next time! 😉
- Large Stock Pot with Lid
- 1 Sweet Onion
- 9 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tbsp. Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 2 Lbs. Ground Beef (85/15)
- 10 Oz. Beer (I used Bud. Black Crown)
- 7 – 7.5 Oz. Can Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce
- 28 Oz. Can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
- 14 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (Mild)
- 16 Oz. Bag Dry Red Beans
- 2 Pieces Hog Jowl (Use bacon if you don’t have access to jowl.)
- 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- ½ Tbsp. Paprika
- ¼ tsp. Cumin
- 1/8 tsp. Mexican Oregano (Optional)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 – 3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 – 3 Dashes Hot Sauce (Optional, according to your heat tolerance.)
- Salt to Taste
- Pepper to Taste
Rinse and soak beans overnight for at least 8 hours.
- Drain beans. Chop onion and finely chop garlic. Heat oil and butter in stock pot on medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt. Add garlic and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, before garlic begins to brown. Remove onion and garlic from pot and set aside. Leave some oil/butter in pot.
- Add ground beef to pot and brown until cooked-through. Add salt to taste.
Here’s a tip. Dishes taste better and are more cohesive when seasoned at every level or stage of preparation.
- After beef is brown, add beer. It will sizzle. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, and Mexican oregano. Stir well.
- Remove chipotle peppers from can and chop them. Add the adobo sauce from can and chopped peppers to pot. Add can of crushed tomatoes. Add can of diced tomatoes with green chilies.
- Add beans, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, hog jowl, onions and garlic (with any oil/butter that was removed), and some salt. If there is not enough liquid covering the beans, add some water or the remainder of the beer (if you haven’t already drank it).
Here’s a tip. I use the cans to add water. This rinses out all the flavor and sauce remnants left behind.
- Lower heat to simmer. Cover with lid, leaving a small opening for chili to vent. Simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until beans are tender. Stir only occasionally to keep beans from breaking. Add salt and pepper to taste, remembering that beans require quite a bit of salt to keep from being bland. Add hot sauce to taste (optional).
Remove bay leaves and hog jowl before serving.
Serve with cheese, onions, sour cream, chips, crackers, or cornbread. (Turn my cornbread recipe into cornbread muffins. Add ½ tsp. oil to each opening of muffin tin and heat in oven. Remove tin from oven and add 2 – 3 Tbsp. of batter to each opening. Cook until golden brown on top.)
This makes a Texas-sized portion, serving approximately 8 – 10 people. It’s even better the next few days – I made this a day before the game. Or you can freeze some to put on your hotdogs, baked potatoes, or in chili wraps another meal.