Texas Heirloom Chile
3 T olive oil
2 large sweet onions, diced
3 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
2 dried chiles de Arbol, seeded and ground
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 t kosher salt
4.5 lb beef chuck roast, trimmed and in 1 1/2" cubes
1/4 C New Mexico chile powder
4t chipotle (or cayenne) chili powder
4t ground cumin
2 qt. beef broth
Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)
1. Heat 2T oil in skillet over medium high heat. Cook onions until soft, add poblanos and cook until soft, reducing heat if necessary to prevent browning. Add garlic and salt, cook 5 more minutes.
2. Heat remaining oil in dutch oven, add beef in batches, browning on all sides. Return all beef to pot, add remaining spices unil they form a thick paste on meat. De-glaze with dash of water.
3. Add broth, cover loosely and simmer until meat is tender (~3 hours or better).
4. Remove 2C of beef chunks with slotted spoon, shred with fork and return to pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve with Pico de Gallo for garnish.
PICO DE GALLO
1 red onion, minced
6 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 C fresh cilantro, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely minced (or try using the Green Tabasco sauce)
1 t lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
Combine and chill before service. Editorial Commentary from a Texas ego:
Let me start out by saying I've eaten a lot of different 'chilis' and many of them were pretty tasty. I just can't think of them as chili.
- Notice that at no time does this recipe, or any other true chili recipe, call for the inclusion of beans or tomato products.
- If necessary, good pinto beans may be served on the side.
- Chili with beans, noodles, or other adulterants is chili stew or chili soup or at best a chili dish.
- I have since stopped using chili powder and have started making my own. Blending and grinding dried chiles like New Mexicos, Anchos, de Arbol and others allows one to make it to exactly suit one's taste.
A bit of background...
Chili first spread as a result of visitors to San Antonio sampling the chili offered by the 'Chili Queens' in Market Square. They carried tales and recipes with them when they left, and soon the word was out. If you want to try a truly authentic chili recipe, here is one that was passed down from one of the original Chili Queens. To my knowledge it is the only one so preserved from that time. Notice all the things that aren't
in it. Chili Queen Chili
2 pounds beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup suet
1/4 cup pork fat
3 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart water
4 ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed, chopped fine
1 serrano chile, seeds and stems removed, chopped fine
6 dried red New Mexican chiles, seeds and stems removed, chopped fine
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, freshly ground
2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
Salt, to taste
Lightly flour the beef and pork cubes. Quickly cook in the suet and pork fat, stirring often. Add onions and garlic and sauté until they are tender and limp. Remove all pieces of fat. Add the water to the mixture and simmer for 1 hour.
Grind the chiles in a blender or molcajete. Add to the meat mixture. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 2 hours. Skim off any fat that rises, then serve.