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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Good Night for Big Bowl of Chili #Recipe

 One of my all time favorite food choices that is perfect year round but one that i love to serve on snowy winter days is none other than chili.

The manner in which I make chili is different than my moms because what I often made is more closely related to that of chili con carne. The dish is often thought to have Mexican roots. While the Mexican authorities deny this there are several stories that show how this claim could be possible.

Was it the nun Sister Mary of Agreda that during the early 1600s who one day had an out of body experience in which her spirit arose and traveled across the Atlantic to preach to the Indians. Upon her return she wrote the chili con carne recipe that included chili peppers, venison, onions and tomatoes.  Yet, another story tells of another chili combination created by a native from Canary Island in 1723. However, another version and the earliest written description of chili came from J.C. Clopper who lived near Houston. In 1828 Clopper wrote of how the poor families prepared a hash sort of dish made with peppers and other items that were stewed together.

No matter on where the first chili recipe the next thing to come was the places that would sell chili. One market in San Antonio set up chili stands were bowls of chili or o'red as it was known was sold. These women who sold the chili came to be known as "chili queens" Customers could get a bowl of chili, bread and glass of water for 10 cents. Thus selling of this dish was not only a perfect meal but also grew to be a tourist attraction.

At the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago the San Antonio Chili stand was a grand attraction. Like many dishes that are represented at the great fairs the chili grew in popularity. Chili joints would make their debut in Texas and begin popping up all over the west. Some joints were simply sheds or rooms with a counter and stools. Perhaps it was these little joints that helped keep many alive since the chili was cheap and the crackers were free.

This chili is often served over spaghetti and is then called chili-mac or TwoWay chili. According to Floyd Cogan, “The proper way to make chili-mac is to place cooked spaghetti (al dente) on a plate and cover it with chili, with grated Parmesan cheese on top.”

2 pounds coarsely ground chuck steak
1 quart water
1 cup chopped onions
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon powdered allspice
4 whole cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf, powdered
½ ounce unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons chili powder (or more for heat)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons flower mixed with 1/4 cup water

Combine the chuck steak and the water and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the flour mixed with water and simmer for 3 hours.
Add the flour mixed with water, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
Yield: 6 servings

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