As prepared for Wat Hughes' 1996 Chili Party
This is my adaption of Kit Anderson's Bad Attitude Chili, with my own twist of course. Since I can't even bring myself to follow directions I guess I would call mine Piss Poor Attitude Chili. As in what my Daddy, teachers, bosses, girlfriends, and ex-wives have all told me over the years: "Boy, your problem is you have a piss poor attitude!"

My modifications:

I made a double batch so all the ingredients are doubled with a few exceptions. For example, I only used one can of tomatoes. I grew up in Texas and lived there for 25 years. Now I realize that living in a place like Massachusetts, or even worse Maine, you can get away with a lot when it comes to chili. But some things, like adding tomatoes, or heaven forbid beans, to chili is still a criminal offense in Texas so you can't blame me for feeling a little paranoid. Besides, one can was all I had. However, after making another batch and adding the full amount called for in Kit's recipe, I think this is too much. I have already given him a hard time about that. My recommendation is if you are going to make this chili and have to use tomaotes, use half as much.

For chile, I toasted 4 ounces of ancho chiles on a cast iron griddle and then ground them up in a spice grinder. I added a combination of Chimayo medium-hot and Chimayo hot chile powder and ended up with a little over a cup of chile in all. I bought the Chimayo chile from a roadside vendor in Chimayo on my last trip to NM about 3 years ago. It has been stashed in the deep freeze but the supply is getting low.

I also added 2 tablespoons of oregano. I can't hardly bring myself to cook anything without putting some oregano in it.

After adding the 2 tablespoons of Hot Hungarian Paprika there was only about 1 tablespoon left in the tin so I threw that in too.

I didn't have any Mexican beer on hand so I used a bottle of Heineken Tarwebok wheat bock and a bottle of Sierra Nevada porter.

I used beef, bottom round roast, instead of pork.

I wasn't sure if Kit meant bittersweet chocolate or unsweetened but I used unsweetened. It had a little bit of a bitter taste after adding the chocolate so I added 1 tablespoon of sugar to take the edge off.

Everything else was pretty much the same as Kit's recipe. I simmered it on very low temperature for about four hours. I have to admit it is a pretty darned good batch of chili and it hasn't even had time to age yet. I had a bowl for lunch today and two more bowls for dinner. I hope there's still some left to take to the chili party on Saturday.

This recipe makes a pretty authentic pot of Texas red chili. It is said that it can only truly be Texas red if it walks the thin line just this side of indigestibility: Damning the mouth that eats it and defying the stomach to digest it, the ingredients are hardly willing to lie in the same pot together. This stuff comes pretty darn close.

Thanks Kit.


Garry's Home Cookin'
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