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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #31)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:31 PM

35. To me, chili is more of a method than a recipe

I don't know that I've ever made two batches the same.

When you get right down to it, there is no exact historical recipe for chili con carne. Anyone who claims to be a chili purist is a bit of a head scratcher for me. The dish was derived from the Spanish, who derived it from the Native Americans who didn't tend to write things down. Chili peppers, cumin, onions, and meat seem to be universal, but variations from there are limitless. As far as using deer meat goes, I think that's more in line with the traditional method than using beef. Chili is nothing more than a meat based stew, and stewing does a lot of favors for wild game. The people who first made chili would have used whatever sources of meat they had. Native Americans also cultivated several different kinds of legumes, so it's hard to imagine they weren't including them in chili con carne centuries before any white person came along.

Personally I don't use commercial chili powder. I take two or three different varieties of dried chilies and grind them in my whirlybird coffee grinder (which I never use for coffee). Making your own chili powder is easy and it gives the dish an extra dimension you don't get from commercial chili powder. I also use one or two fresh chilies. Serrano is my favorite for this.

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LineLineNew Reply To me, chili is more of a method than a recipe
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