A Happy Eater caveat: Every chili recipe should be taken with a grain of salt

March 01, 1992|By Rob Kasper | Rob Kasper,Staff Writer

All chili recipes are to be viewed with a mixture of reverence and suspicion. Reverence for the process of making mere meat take on extraordinary flavors, and suspicion of whether the ingredients listed are actually those the chili maker used.

Bill Buchanan's version of Flameout Gonzales Chili

1/2 pound fresh suet (or 2 to 3 tablespoons oil)

6 pounds chuck or bottom round, chili grind

2 pounds pork loin (or substitute 1 pound veal shanks or game bird breasts)

2 large onions, finely diced

6 cloves garlic, crushed

2 green peppers plus 1 medium red pepper, quartered

2 cans beef bouillon

2 28-ounce cans tomato sauce

1 28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped coarsely in blender

12 tablespoons chili powder

5 tablespoons ground cumin or 1 tablespoon paprika or 1 tablespoon sage

4 tablespoons of flour (masa flour, which may be found in the ethnic sections of most supermarkets, is preferred.)

1 small bottle Kitchen Bouquet

2 cans dark beer

1 tablespoon oregano

cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste.

Melt suet in heavy, cast iron skillet until you have about a 1/8 -inch layer of grease. Brown beef, pork and onions -- adding about one-third of each item at a time. Transfer onions and meat to large stock pot.

Add garlic, quartered peppers, 1 can bouillon, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can chopped tomatoes, the chili powder, the cumin, the Kitchen Bouquet, beer and oregano.

Cook over low heat 3 to 4 hours, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. After 1 hour, add remaining bouillon and tomato sauce. Add cayenne pepper to suit your taste, but wait several minutes before sampling after each addition.

After 2 1/2 to 3 hours remove quartered peppers and discard. Skim off excess fat. Add enough hot water to the flour to make a paste, and add to chili, stirring in well. Salt and pepper to taste.

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