With the ground blanketed in snow and the wind howling--steaming bowls of chili sound like just the ticket. And what a healthy, happy way to start 2019. To kickstart your chili and chile laden cooking, I am putting our chiles on a three day half price sale starting right now!
Chiles are so good for you in every way and when cooked into yummy dishes--they are so satisfying too. As I have often mentioned--chiles do just amazing healthful things for us--from helping us to have the waist line of our dreams to keeping diseases at bay. A very good New Year's resolution is to eat at least 1/2 teaspoon of the hottest chile you can endure for at two-thirds of the time. Doing this will help your body fight the onset of cancer and heart disease. How? A certain percentage of chiles in your blood stream stems the development of cancer in your mitochondria--the living substance within each cell of our bodies. At the same time chiles act like Drain-o in our vascular system.
So why not enjoy pulsating, steaming hot bowls of chili, enchiladas, hot salsas and the like? We are doing our best to make it very possible. Once you do get our pure chiles on hand, keep them chilled either in the refrigerator or freezer and preferably stored in glass. ( Glass is impervious to "breathing" or the exchange of micro bits of air. ..assuring the best keeping quality.)
My very favorite chili recipe is the Bowl O' Red that my maternal Grandfather developed while learning all the ways the cookies made chili. They cooked for the great cattle drives, driving cattle to market to the rail head at Dodge City, KS. My Grandfather was the chief executive charged with extending the Santa Fe railroad westward from Dodge City, KS. And during the long nights, he had many a conversation with those cookies who fed the cowboys chili three times a day. Try serving the chili with toppings or what I like to call "Mixin's 'n Fixin's.
Chilis freeze very well and can be made into enchiladas, pizza, on pasta or on baked potatoes and much more. Fresh, fresh cumin is a must for good chili and always add half the amount called for in a recipe as you cook it and the remaining half just before serving for the greatest flavor.
Just as a side note, the way beans and tomatoes and other vegetables got into chili was that as the cowboys were getting close to Dodge City--the pot was often getting thin. It would be too great a slow-down to stop and butcher one of the steers, so as they crossed Oklahoma--they started adding beans to thin down the chili and make it stretch. But--the red color was disappearing and with no chiles in sight, they started adding tomatoes to create a redder color. And more vegetables made their way into chiles with time.
Here's my favorite recipe for Bowl O' Red and another favorite recipe from my best selling "Chili Madness" cookbook which is now in it's third edition. I will put them on sale also. The second edition is $10.00 autographed and the new third edition, autographed is $13.00...plus shipping for each.
Bowl O’ Red - Classic Chili Recipe
The influence behind this chili recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who when working with the Santa Fe Railroad learned how to prepare it from the “cookies,” or trail cooks. It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chilis.
2 Tablespoons shortening, preferably solid shortening such as lard or butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 medium-size garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup ground hot chile or to taste
¼ cup ground mild chile
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
About 3 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Heat lard in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Remove from heat.
2. Add meat, garlic, ground chiles and cumin to pot. Break up any lumps. Stir in the water and salt. Return to heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Serve with fixin’s ‘n mixins’ of coarsely grated cheeses, pickled jalapenos, chopped onion and sour cream with lime wedges garnished with a “ruffle” of red chile.
This chili is for serious hot chili lovers, who like the smokiness of Chipotles. Chipotles always add a smokey richness that is truly habit forming! I much prefer to reconstitute the dried traditional chipotles (not the moritas) or use chipotle powder ground from the traditional chipotles as they are much smokier and authentic tasting. (Traditional chipotles are made by long, slow smoking in banana leaves.)
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 Tablespoon bacon drippings
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds beef chuck, cut in ½ inch cubes with some fat left in
½ cup ground pure, hot chile
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin, divided
¼ cup dry red wine
1. In a large pot, melt the bacon drippings. When hot, add the onion and cook until they are clear and starting to brown. Remove from heat and stir in garlic and meat. Then add the chiles, half the cumin and water to cover by one inch.
2. Bring to a high heat and when just starting to bubble, reduce to a low heat and simmer for two to three hours. Simmer until very tender and the flavors are blended. Add remaining cumin and wine and cook briefly. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with fixin’s ‘n mixin’s of sour cream with lime wedges, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chopped onion.