CHILI WITH BEANS

Reviews and taste-tests of any MREs from 1981-present
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MCIera
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Post by MCIera » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:54 pm

I believe that beans were added to chili during the depression as a means of stretching the dish. And all canned chili will have either beans or TVP added to it to maximize profits, and because most of the world has come to expect beans in chili. Traditionally beans had been served as a side dish to the entree item of Chile con Carne (chili with meat.)

As it originated, chili was a stew of chile peppers and meat with not much else though it has evolved to hundreds of thousands of variations.

My personal preference is:

2 lbs beef cut into 1/4-1/2" cubes (round, chuck, or brisket)
6 TB New Mexico Chili powder (pure chili powder, not the blended stuff)
2 TB Oregano (Mexican, not Greek), crushed
2 TB Cumin Seed (fresh ground)
1 onion finely diced
1 bell pepper diced
1 stalk celery finely diced
4-6 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
12 fl. oz beer
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp beef base (beef based commercial, not bouillon or powder)
Cayenne Pepper (optional)
4-6 TB Masa Harina

Sear the beef in rendered suet or high temp oil (canola works well).
Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery; sweat until tender.
Add about 4 TB chili powder, oregano, and 1TB ground cumin, mix into meat/vegetable mixture.
Add beer, tomato sauce, and beef base, bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
Add 2 TB chili powder and 1 TB ground cumin and blend into stew. Add cayenne pepper to taste, if desired. Cover and continue to simmer for 15-30 minutes.
Blend masa harina with water to form a slurry. Bring chili to a low boil and add slurry mixture to the chili to thicken to preference, then lower heat to a gentle simmer.
Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, uncovered, to cook the flour, stir as necessary to avoid burning.

Serve with preferred side dishes (e.g. rice, beans, tortillas, crackers, etc.)
Top with onions, cheese, or whatever pleases you.

You can substitute ground spices for the oregano and cumin if you can't get them dried. Granulated or dried garlic for fresh. And plain ol' all-purpose flour if the masa harina isn't available. Boullion cubes can also be used in lieu of the commercial soup base.

Baldy wrote:While not wanting to start any regional cuisine arguments, can any US members tell me if traditional Texas style chili should have beans in it or not? I always thought the answer was 'no'... but I am always willing to learn.

Baldy
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Post by Baldy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:03 pm

Thanks for the responses. Thanks also for the recipe - which I will try this weekend.

I, too, heard beans were only used in chili as a way of making the dish go further in hard times. I also heard that beans were used as a meat substitute by cowboys travelling a long way from home, but that might just be a 'rural legend'. Either way, it never made sense that a beef-raising state like Texas would use beans under normal circumstances, and it looks like I was on the right track.

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Treesuit
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Post by Treesuit » Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:46 pm

MCIera,
Hey can you tell me if you have ever heard of a Frito pie? It's like taking Fritos Corn chips and dumping the chili and whatever else you have on it. I've learned this recipe from a couple from Oklahoma. Seems they like it with a lot of onions an cheese. It might be an urban recipe but the taste is outstanding. I would recommend it to anybody who wants a bit of variety in eating chili. :wink:

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BigMark
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Post by BigMark » Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:41 pm

Heh, you mean Frito pie isn't common fare? It's a menu item at tons of fast food places and local places here in Texas. It's just a bag of fritos with some chili, onions and cheese on top. Mmmm.

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MCIera
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Post by MCIera » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:34 pm

Sure have. Not bad eatin' but it's usually served with chili that has beans in it, often the canned stuff. Onions and cheese are essential ingredients as well.
Treesuit wrote: Hey can you tell me if you have ever heard of a Frito pie?

Baldy
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Location: Australia

Post by Baldy » Sun May 04, 2008 1:31 pm

Just want to say the chili was a great success, real good eatin'. :) Thank you.

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