Chilly or Chili?

Chili is one of those dishes that get people all worked up. Beans or no beans, tomatoes or no tomatoes, armadillo or no armadillo...you name it, someone will claim it's not really chili with/without various ingredients.

My mother made what she called "Chili Soup". She would take 2 quarts of homemade stewed tomatoes, two cans of kidney beans, a pound of ground beef, a couple of onions chopped fine, a tablespoon of chili powder and about 4 quarts of water, cook it up and serve it with lots of crackers. Mom also loved Wendy's chili because it reminded her of homemade chili.

Blech! I hated chili until I went away to college and ate chili at the original BW3. They used to have Buffalo Breath Chili. It was a meat paste with lots of flavor. No tomatoes that I recall, and no beans...just meat and spices. And hot - boy was it hot....You could weld with this shit it was so hot. I loved it. It was real in a way that Mom's and Wendy's chili wasn't.

A recent "chili" recipe in a local newspaper called Columbus Alive called for 54 oz of tomato products to 16 oz of ground beef. That is just wrong. That is flavored tomato sauce with beef in it.

My definition is fairly broad: Chili is a stew that consists of ground meat seasoned with chili peppers, tomatoes and onions with just enough liquid added to turn it into soup instead of a loose meat sandwich. The major ingredient must be ground meat. Not water - not tomatoes- not beans. All those ingredients can play a supporting roll, but I want meat dammit. Meat Meat Meat!!!!

I will be honest - I do not have pictures of my chili. Mostly because they were so damned unattractive I deleted them from the camera. It looked like - ummm - body stuff. Bad body stuff. Chili is one of those foods that just isn't very photogenic. The same with my cream of tomato soup. Tastes great - photographs badly. My food porn is definitely amateur. It is equal to real amateur porn shot with an flabby chick who has a skin rash and a c-section scar. Wrong wrong wrong!!! (Pardon me while I wash that image from my mind with a bottle of beer...)

I have a couple different version of chili - one where I take my time and roast dried chiles and grind them into a paste so on and so forth. That's my "I have nothing better to do this weekend but cook" chili. I don't make that very often anymore. Then I have my "friends are coming over and want something that will warm them up because it -17 with the windchill" chili. This is that recipe. If you want a "I have nothing better to do this weekend" recipe, I recommend wasting time on the Internet before starting. There are people who are more anal than I putting up their recipes online for you to try out.

Rosie's It Too Damn Cold Outside Chili

(This will fill my 6 qt crockpot which I use as a warmer when we are having people over)

6 pounds of ground beef (yeah SIX pounds - I didn't say this was cheap)
4 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
4 fresh chile pepper chopped (such as jalapeno, Anaheim or whatever is lurking at the grocery store that looks good.)
2 packages of onion soup mix (Yeah - onion soup mix - deal with it)
1 bottle of good beer
1/4 cup of good commerical chili powder (I use hot chili powder from Penzey's)
1 t cumin powder
2 t of Mexican oregano
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 chipolte peppers in adobo sauce
2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 15 oz cans of tomatoes with chile peppers
1 6 oz can of tomato sauce (Mexican style if you have it)
Black Pepper to taste

Brown off the beef with onions, peppers and garlic in batches. Add the veggies after the meat has started to cook to avoid burning the garlic. Drain off fat. Put in a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot.

Add everything else to the pot. After you add the beer, add enough water to make sure everything is wet. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 hours stirring every so often until the beef is tender and flavors are melded. Taste partway through cooking and adjust the amount of salt - since I am using so many canned ingredients plus the onion soup mix, it usually doesn't require any additional.

That's it. Pretty straight forward. It's the kind of dish I know can be ready to feed a crew without a lot of work on my part. Serve with shredded cheese, chopped onions, crackers and anything else that strikes your fancy.

To extend the batch of chili, you can serve it over spaghetti (bastards!) or save some out and hit it with a stick blender and turn it into the makings of fantastic chili dogs...


sher said...

I don't know why you're so against meat in your chili! :):) And I would have loved a picture, body parts or no!

Anonymous said...

Like most mothers who are single, we have lives and children to feed and we are doing it the best way we can. So,
I can not slave behind the stove for 2 hours and 45 minutes with my mommy to make Rosie Eat Bite Your Tongue It’s SO Good Soup; and
After working all day, dropping kids off to sports and pick them up from after school programs I am tired as hell.

Do you have 5 kids and no husband or help?
So pardon me, I find it refreshing to see someone who can show me how to create meals in a short period, while using ingredients that I can purchase form the store (everyone does not have a Secret Garden in the back yard) so that I able to spend time with my kids before they fall asleep. I like eating around the table with my family, allowing my kids to assist me in preparing quick meals and having lively discussions with my kids and not passing out because I am tired. And too your comment about edutainment. I like the style. I can watch food programs with my kids that don’t bore them and me to death. No, Rachael is not for everyone...and sometimes she is not for me but, they are people out there who are looking for ways to create quick meals and spend time with family who can’t wake up in the morning and try out recipes all day long. She is popular for a reason.


I have a 3 year old toddler, 5, 9, 13, and 17 year old - all boys and did I mention that I am by myself(38 year old MILITARY WIDOW for the last year and a half). So tell me when do I have time to create this dish: Rosie's It Too Damn Cold Outside Chili. Which should be titled,
Rosie’s Its too damn long from me to make this chili because I got kids to feed, homework to check, and work to finish.

You and your bloggers must come the some socio-economic demographic. You all (your bloggers) sound mad because folks can relate to Rachel Ray. I don’t have a husband that could watch the kids while I enjoy my “Lustful Apron Experience.” Do you have 5 kids and are on a limited budget? Could you see how that could be difficult? I pride myself on making meals that are healthy and affordable for my family. So, before you and your “friends” start to insult anyone you must consider that everyone is not in the same boat as you are.

Oh, by the way this is the Anonymous writer who you wanted to sign up so my name can be displayed. In reference to your “Back on the 4th I posted about how I had fallen out of love with the Food Network and garnered this comment.

Yeah, do you remember I talked about how mean you are. I was wrong, you are not mean. You are just not empathic to others lives.


And Roise I will advise you to respond with caution.

Anonymous said...

De-lurking (found my way from Sher's blog) to give kudos. What is not to love here? Meat, onions, garlic, and beer all in one pot. Man that's living! And chocolate in chili? I've seen it listed as an ingredient in stews before but haven't heard any feedback. What's it like?

PS I'm going to post as anonymous because I don't want the above commenter surfing onto my blog.

Cheers to you!

Daniel Shankster said...

Wow, that sounds how my mom used to make her chili. I tend to use tomato sauce, tomato juice, etc. anything to avoid the use of water.


Rosie said...

Sher - then you will love the picture of my lentel soup - it turned out badly too!!

Regina - don't worry - I am considering my response very carefully - it's coming soon! I konw you can't wait!

anonymous-I love putting just a little unsweetened chocolate in with chilis. It just adds something on the bottom note that I really like. Also, thanks for the email link to your blog - I've added you to my personal blog feed...

Daniel - maybe it was a regional chili thing - is your mom from Ohio?

Daniel Shankster said...

Yes, my mother was from northwest Ohio, Mennonite and Quaker background.

Rosie said...

My mom grew up in Southern Ohio in a little town called Murray City - it would be interresting to find out if other people's moms did the same thing. I figured it was just my mom...

Lorence said...

Meat! Oh, yes, absolutely gotta have meat, but I never use anything ground, only a decent cut of beef cut into small cube-like pieces ("1/2" square-ish at most) will do. And I agree the meat should be featured, but to me, chili is also about its namesake, the chili pepper.
I never had chili growing up and thought it was pretty nasty looking stuff. Eventually, I learned otherwise and developed my own version, called " Smoke and Fire Chili". The recipe is long and drawn out, but it’s not as long and hard to make as it looks – it’s mostly adding ingredients. Stirring them in to blend the flavors well, cooking for a couple of minutes, then adding more flavors, like the layering done in creole. I also use that small shot of chocolate at the end to find that last bit of mouth missed by the various chilies and spices. As per the disclaimers at the bottom of my recipe, I never, NEVER, under any circumstance, add cinnamon or put my chili over pasta of any type.

I’ve also learned that chili is a very personal dish – like the family meatloaf or marinara recipe.

You are correct, too, no matter how good the chili is, it's going to take a bad picture - it's two-faced, that's for sure!