Here is the recipe for my chili that appears in BeeR the magazine.

I grew up all over the place and was introduced to hot food at a young age. My wanderings took me to Texas for a while. It was there I learned that true chili is not some form of bastardized spaghetti sauce or that abomination eaten with zeal in Cincinati.

Chili is basic food. It is, in fact, one of the four food groups along with coffee, bagels, and beer. Meat, onions, chiles. What could be simpler, right? But then why is the perfect chili recipe so ellusive? Well, I'll tell ya. It's because people get too far away from the basics and mix in influences from cultures that have no business making chili. Cultures like New York and that large flat area between Pittsburgh and Denver. There are two styles of chili; Texas and New Mexico. Bad Attitude is from Texas.

One aside. Watch the spelling. C-H-I-L-I is made with chile. C-H-I-L-E is:

  1. God's greatest gift to humans
  2. a country named after our favorite fruit, and
  3. how mothers pronounce, " Chile! Gitchyer butt over here!"
This recipe comes from years of Friday afternoons dedicated to cards-beer-blow-off-steam sessions while at dental school in south Texas. We used venison and pork, but any vertabrate is fine. (Armadillo is not allowed in Texas as it is the Official State Critter and has been granted asylum from the chili pot.) Vegetarian chili? Is that like jumbo shrimp? Military intelligence? Legal ethics? Painless dentist?

Chili is not supposed to be blow your head off hot. I have two criteria for proper heat:

  1. I should sweat under my eyes.
  2. I should be able to eat the whole bowl without stopping to cool off.

There is supposed to be a lot of chile flavor and no tomato flavor. This can only be had through high quality chile powder and fresh roasted peppers.

To bean or not to bean? That is the question for people that like to discuss things like the meaning of life. Or how many angels can do the Cotton Eyed Joe on the head of a pin. Or is there a limit to Deion $anders' ego. If you are going to bean, pintos and black are good. Kidney beans are a sin.

In time, this recipe has taken on a life of its own. It has been known to change major weather patterns, cement faltering relationships, depose minor dictatorships, and affect the outcome of the Superbowl. Remember to use its power for good.

Bad Attitude Chili

serves 6-8

2 lbs pork roast -- cut into 1" pieces
2 lbs cheap ground beef -- (You'll need the fat. This isn't health food.)
1/2 cup GOOD chile powder -- (Your local supermarket brand tastes like cardboard.)
1 HUGE onion -- roughly chopped
1 head garlic -- minced
8 New Mexican green chiles -- roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped.
1 Tbl hot Hungarian paprika -- (This is legal. Paprika is a chile.)
1 Tbl ground cumin
4 beef boullion cubes
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes -- (Don't worry. You won't even know they are there.)
1 bottle amber Mexican beer -- (Dos Equiis, Noche Buena, or any Oktoberfest will do.)
1/4 cup bourbon -- (This is one of those things that just happened.)
2 squares bitter baker's chocolate -- (Not as weird as it sounds.)
salt to taste
Sautee 1/4 of the garlic and onions until translucent. Add 1/4 of the meat, chile powder and brown. Salt the meat while cooking. Put into your chili pot. Cast iron is best. Repeat until all the meat is done. Put the rest of the ingredients in you chili pot and simmer for for a hour. As in any recipe, the amount of ingredients is variable. Add more of anything you want, especially chiles.
You now have the power. Use it wisely. The eyes of Texas are upon you!

Kit Anderson
Bath, Maine

Garry's Home Cookin'
Eat first, ask questions later!

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