Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Art of Chili

-KingT's Tex-Mex Red

Guess who's back? I have regained my crown and took home first place in the Time-Out Chicago Chili Cookoff this past weekend (check upcoming issue for the dilly). Its good to have the crown back and a third ring on the finger, that's 1st place 3 of the last 4 years with a questionable 2nd place finish last year. I've been reading around the net about all the chili recipes for the big game on Sunday. Look no further I have what you need. This is the premiere super bowl chili party recipe.

bowl o' red

When it comes to chili there are countless ingredients that people use to create it and bowls come out tasting a million different ways for better and worse...but mostly worse. I understand that chili is a regional food but so are hot dogs and you cant find anything better outside Chicago. What I mean by that is that chili was born somewhere in either Texas, the Southwest or Mexico. I see no need to make some Italian style chili or white chicken "chili" that's just not the real stuff. I'm all about making a true chili experience and don't plan on using exotic wild meats, odd ingredients that are in there for gimmick more than flavor or any fancy food trends turned into a bowl of red.

"The great debate, it seems, is not limited to whose chili is best. Even more heated is the argument over where the first bowl was made; and by whom. Estimates range from "somewhere west of Laramie," in the early nineteenth century - being a product of a Texas trail drive - to a grisly tale of enraged Aztecs, who cut up invading Spanish conquistadors, seasoned chunks of them with a passel of chile peppers, and ate them." International chili society

I think I might have been an Aztec in a past life but that's for another day.

"Never has there been anything mild about chili.

Our travels through Texas, New Mexico, and California, and even Mexico, over the years have failed to turn up the elusive "best bowl of chili." Every state lays claim to the title, and certainly no Texan worth his comino (cumin) would think, even for a moment, that it rests anywhere else but in the Lone Star State - and probably right in his own blackened and battered chili pot.

There may not be an answer. There are, however, certain facts that one cannot overlook. The mixture of meat, beans, peppers, and herbs was known to the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayan Indians long before Columbus and the conquistadores." International chili society

I am going to give you a recipe that is very similar to mine.

When I started making chili about 7 years ago I wanted it to be real chili and not the garbage that is found throughout Chicago. For the record there are maybe 2 good places to get chili in Chicagoland (Ramova and Bishop's) you have to make it yourself, which is how I got started. I did some reading and played around with some recipes and as time passed by I started to concoct my own creation that has evolved into some of the best chili on this earth and that's a guarantee. I do have plans to one day open my own little place and this chili will be on the menu but for now your just going to have to make the recipe I'm willing to share or track me down to make you some.

Like I said up above I try and make a real chili not some veggie brew with cous cous or some sweet tasting dessert shit. You will find lots of meat and no chocolate or cinnamon in this recipe. As far as I am concerned they have the same business in chili as ketchup does on a hot dog. You'll find that most of the ingredients I use are native and essential to Texan, Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines-hence the name.

I always use Gephardt's chili powder which I buy in bulk from Texas

Ingredients (Serves 18-20)

6 lbs ground beef
4 grilling steaks (6 lbs) with bone if avail. such as sirloin steak and porterhouse or ribeye
2 packages of Hot pork chorizo (Mexican)
1 package Hot beef chorizo (Mexican)
1 package bacon pieces chopped and diced
8-10 assorted peppers like green, red, yellow, cubanelle, etc... chopped and diced
6 jalapenos seeds removed and diced
4-5 white onions chopped and diced
6 roasted poblano peppers with skin removed, diced
5 cloves of garlic pressed and smashed
1 can of green chiles
1 can of bottled taco sauce
2 cans of miller high life
1/4 cup of jalapeno juice from the sliced jalapenos in a jar
1/4 pickle juice
2-3 20 oz cans tomato sauce (add gradually to get right consistency)
2 20 oz cans of stewed tomato's
2 cans diced green chiles
10 TBLS of good chili powder such as Gephardt's
6 TBLS of New Mexican red chili powder
5 TBLS cumin
2 TBLS smoked paprika
2 TBLS cayenne pepper
2 TBLS ground red pepper
1 TBLS red amazon chile powder
pinch of Mexican oregano
2 cans of pinto beans in ranchero sauce
1 cup of fresh red salsa

For garnish: cheese, chopped onion, crema and cilantro.

the more different peppers to mold in the flavor the merrier

Season and grill your steak until cooked medium rare and set aside in a pan that can catch the juices. When steaks are at room temp, cut them into little squares about the size of a dime. Save all the juices from the grilled steaks and dump it into the simmer pot.

grilled steak gets chopped down to simmer

Diced steak goes into the pot to simmer

Then start by cooking the diced bacon in a 12+ quart pot and the chorizo in another pot. Remove bacon pieces when crispy and set aside as well as the chorizo. Add the chopped peppers/jalapeno into the bacon pot and the onions into the chorizo pot and coat well with the grease and sweat them for 10 minutes. Remove the onion/pepper mixture and set aside. Add necessary amount of ground beef to each pot and cook thru mashing with a potato masher so that there are no clumps. When beef is nice and brown and well mashed add the pieces of steak into the pot with the juices followed by the onions and pepper mixture and chorizo mixture. Put all the spice mixtures into the pot's and then pour your liquids (beer, jalapeno juice and pickle juice) on top of them making sure they don't clump and cook for 5-10 minutes and then add the tomato juice and sauce. At this point I take both pots and empty them into a large stock pot for simmering. Make sure to add the tomato sauce little by little making sure that the chili is not soupy nor too thick. It should be right in the middle and able to hold a spoon on top so that it doesn't sink but also there should be some sauce so that its not thick. Add the canned peppers.

chorizo and bacon making lube for the veggies

sweat the veggies in the pork grease

The right consistency when spoon is placed in the pot

Let chili simmer for 4+ hours (notice the change in color below) and add the diced roasted poblanos, salsa, crispy bacon and chili beans 15 minutes before serving. As far as the beans go this is Tex-Mex chili so I know that beans don't go in Texas chili but its Tex-Mex and the special brand I use is crucial to the flavor of my brew.

On day 1 its a dark shade red

On day 2 its a little brighter

Homemade red chile sauce adds yet another dimension

Fresh roasted poblanos go in last to add another flavor level...

...same can be said for the salsa

Serve with shredded cheese (Mexican blend if you must or real stuff like Chihuahua) sour cream if you must or real Mexican crema, chopped cilantro and fresh onions.

Hint Hint...another secret ingredient I use in my big stock pot of simmering chili is real red chile sauce. One of the problems with giving you every last ingredient to make my real deal Tex-Mex red is that when I make this its always in a large stock pot so many and I mean many ingredients go in there. Unless your cooking for 30+ the pot isn't big enough to hold every ingredient. I'm also not dumb enough to divulge every last secret. I got a spot coming one day where you can eat it everyday if you want though.

Some more ingredients that go into my pot

Sorry President Obama but I'll put down for my chili. Its real deal chili and the best in state. If you ever need a bowl sent to D.C lemme know. Ben's chili bowl isn't bringing it like this either, stuff always tastes better when its free.

Turmeric? C'mon

In the Midwest they use Macaroni pasta but in some spots in Texas they use rice so I like to put a spoon of Mexican rice in my bowl to start.

3 time Chicago Chili Champ...I put on for my city.

Catch me @chibbqking


Csen One said...


Rico said...

This is what I call real chilli deal...I hope it burns burns ...I love it..thx for sharing

Anonymous said...

A vodka martini chilled with 12,000 - 20,000 year old iceberg ice would take the spice down a notch, as in this Canadian Tourism vid.

The Chicago Crowe Family said...

Wow this looks so good. Looks like I'll be spending an entire day making chili sometime soon.
Get that place opened up in Chicago and we'll be there!

BSALTZ said...

King T made me chili for my Superbowl party. He gave me a large pan with the instructions to simmer for 4 hours before serving. My friends and I finished it the night before the big game. Oops.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm in love

Anonymous said...

For those who did not attend the TOC Chili A-Go-Go at Martyr's, please don't be fooled by the idiocy above... and please don't waste your time trying to make the above recipe.

I attended the competition at Martyr's a couple months back and I tried "King T's" chili. It was absolutely terrible. I had no idea his chili was a 'reigning champion' till someone with TOC filled me in just before the judging - personally, I had easily ranked it in the bottom 5 chili's at the competition.

The chili de Titus actually tasted like someone mixed generic chili powder into some Manwich and served it to contest goers. It was utterly horrific. Just as the person with TOC had explained, I noticed how and why "King Titus" had won in years past: He rolls out every coworker and old frat brother from college to vote for his nasty excuse for chili.

If you want to experience chili - definitely go to the TOC Chili-A-Go-Go next year. It was a great time. But please don't be fooled by "King Titus" and the swill that he calls chili.

Unknown said...

I like the Tony's on the counter next to the chili... Solid spice choice right there!

Anonymous said...

How can this be called chili when it has beans in it. A real bowl of red has no beans. In fact a real bowl of red has less than 10 ingredients. None of which are steak, vegetables of any kind, or sausage. Look up Frank X Tolberts original bowl of red if you want the real deal.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great, but to really make this recipe worthwhile the missing ingredient is... an editor!

When it comes to adding the steak its pot this and pot that and just when you've said you add the pepper and onion mix (which is both mixes) to 'the pot' (is this the 'simmer pot' from the steaks set aside earlier?) you all of a sudden say you place both pots into one. So which pot received all the dry ingredients and beer etc earlier?

I will for now keep the two pots (bacon and the chorizo) separate, and place the dry ingredients and beer into the pot with the steak and cook for 15 minutes like you say. Then add the two pots to the mix and add the tomato juice as required.

Love the idea of adding ingredients just before serving.


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