It’s pretty cold outside – a perfect reason for Chili!
Zak Chapman at Pexels
I have never been a fan of chili.  I have worked at companies that have annual chili cook-offs.  I have friends who get that faraway look of dreaminess and the promise of comfort food when they say, "Nah, I made chili today!" I have never wanted to eat it.  I wasn't afraid of the spice.  I wasn't afraid of the heat.  But everyone I know makes their chili with BEANS.  I don't know why, but I am not a fan of beans.  They have an odd texture when you eat them, a little too mealy or something.  It took me a long time to get used to the idea of refried beans.  I went out to eat and they served the refried beans in a tortilla cup and I ate them like a dip with the free tortilla chips.  But I digress. I don't like beans. But about 2 days ago, when I was anticipating a blizzard, I had this brainstorm of an idea to make chili.  But what goes into chili?  I had to find a great recipe - that didn't require beans.  And then I panicked.  I like to try to be authentic.  If chili without beans is not authentic, I did not want any part of it.  But all I could think about was scoops of beef surrounded by some delicious sort of gooey, drippy, sauce or gravy that tasted nothing like tomato sauce, or barbecue sauce.  What was I to do? Well, I know I'm not the first person to know that Google is your friend with quandaries such as this.  A simple search of "Does an authentic chili recipe require beans?" yielded several resources that all quoted the same source.  And here, I am writing another post that will quote the same source.  The International Chili Society.  Their official rules state, and I quote,
"Traditional Red Chili is any kind of meat/combination of meats cooked with red chili peppers/powders, various spices and other ingredients. Any non-meat fillers are not allowed, including beans. Preference is not given to either cut meat or ground meat. "
So I was totally thrilled and super excited!!! The next step was to find a recipe.  First I tried trusty Google.  However, my Google-fu is not as strong as that of my friends.  So I turned to my trusty  I settled on this Beef Chili recipe from Claire Saffitz in Bon Appetit in February of 2018.  Sadly, this recipe did not involve ground beef, but boneless beef chuck.  It also involved 3 types of chilis: Ancho, Guajillo and Pasilla.  The local grocery store chain here does not really carry dried peppers of any kind.  I purchased fresh poblanos.  Then I went back to my trusty Google.  I looked for alternates for the others.  Well, I was able to find guajillos at another store, but not pasallas.  Mulato chilis were given as an acceptable substitute.  Buuuut, since I didn't write that down, when I got to the store, I found dried Moritas and purchased them.  It wasn't until I got home and reread, that I realized I didn't have the same peppers. It didn't matter.  Apparently, if a recipe calls for dried peppers, you should never substitute with fresh.  The flavor profile is completely different.  Since the kids would be eating said chili, I decided that was ok, as the fresh poblanos would soften the heat.  And let me tell you, that the flavor of this chili was A-MAY-ZING!!! I have one regret.  I didn't take any pictures.  I didn't take pictures while I cooked it.  I didn't take pictures while I ate it.  I didn't take pictures of the leftovers. I will make it again, for sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *