Nothing is likely to upset a Texan more than telling him you can cook a better chili than he can. No doubt, his recipe will have been passed down through generations of trail hardened cow-pokes. The exact mix of chili, the cuts of meat to use and the number of cans of beer are all closely guarded family secrets. They demonstrate their culinary prowess by boiling up great pots of the stuff on the back of pick-up trucks while downing slabs of beer, tipping back their ten gallon hats and belching to each other. Or so I hear…
It is against this culinary backdrop that I bring you part four in my series of Dublin goes DFW. I plan to cook an excellent Beef Chili and serve it with Cornbread. Already I can see the latter-day stockmen getting hot under the chaps over my using minced as well as cubed beef and not a mix of beef and pork. I know that some will also spin their spurs when I reveal I am adding tinned tomato.
My ingredients list might raise an eyebrow or two. It runs like this;
- 750 grammes of minced rib beef
- 750 grammes of rib beef chunks
- 1 Salida chili (hot)
- 1 Salida chili (medium)
- 3 Guajillo chilis
- 1 teaspoon of anchote mix
- 4 onions
- 3 peppers
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tins of tomatoes
- 1 tin of kidney beans
- 1 tablespoon or so of pickled chipotle chili
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 500ml tin of beer
- 500ml of beef stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated cheese to serve
- 2 limes to serve
First place the chilis in a warm oven to dry them out. Put them in a mortar and bash the life out of them with the pestle.
The powder ends up a beautiful deep red colour.
Next, chop the onions into quarters.
Brown the beef in a big casserole dish. Brown both the chunks and the mince.
While that is going on, fry the cumin in a dry pan and give it the pestle and mortar treatment.
Take the beef out of the pot and add the onions over a low heat. Sweat them down for 20 minutes or so before adding the peppers. Give them another ten minutes.
Next, add the rest of the ingredients, dry ones first, stirring as you go.
Next add the anchote to the beef stock. Pour it in. Then pour in the beer. Don’t behave like a Texan at this stage. Pour all the beer into the chili.
Put the chili on to a low heat and slow cook it for a couple of hours. Stir it every twenty minutes or so. It will look like this.
Use these couple of hours to make some corn bread. You can pick up the recipe from the original McGary Chili Challenge. When it comes out of the oven and looks like this, you will be proud of it. You can’t do that on a pick-up truck.
Serve the chili in a nice deep bowl with a generous slice or two of the cornbread. I served it with grated cheese and lime wedges.
Oh, I also had a couple of beers with it. The Texans got that bit of it right, for sure. I know my Texan friends won’t take any offence with ribbing them in this post. I know they are bigger than that. Sure, everything is bigger in Texas after all…
See the previous posts in the Dublin Goes DFW series here: