… is only a plateful of mince

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but – chilli con carne without any chilli

is only a plateful of mince…

These are the last two lines of “Bitcherel” by Eleanor Brown

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Chili con carne (chili with meat) or more commonly known as simply “chili” is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat, and tomatoes. Traditional versions are made using chili peppers, garlic, onions, and cumin, along with chopped or ground beef. Variations, both geographic and personal, may involve different types of meat as well as a variety of other ingredients, especially beans. The variant recipes provoke disputes among aficionados, some of whom insist that the word “chili” only applies to the basic dish. Chili is a frequent dish for cook-offs. It is also used as an ingredient in a number of other dishes.

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This love affair has started a few decades ago when I lived in Arizona. What for us in Vienna was, and still is, the Gulyás, for the South-West of the US is the Chili con carne. No self-respecting pub, bar, restaurant and even Mom (or especially Moms) wouldn’t be caught dead, cooking their own special, homemade and from handed down recipes, CHILI CON CARNE. After working a day at the pastry shop we would make our pilgrimage to “our” pub for a “Chili and beer”.

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I do hold it with Chili the same as I do with curries. It is the experiment and discovery, the search and reward that comes with every bowl. There must be at least one if not two recipe for every person the cooks Chili. I am no different. I would take every opportunity that comes my way to experiment with “this new” recipe. …. and yesterday was no different.

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Tex Mex Chili in Austrian Gmundner Keramik

The search started here at chiliconcarne.org. It is basic, but you’ll get the idea. I read the recipe and already started substituting ingredients. Now here is what I did:

  • Used pork shoulder cut into cubes
  • brined pork-belly from spain sliced and cut into small pieces
  • very coarsely minced beef
  • I used red wine instead of water
  • no corn starch or other flour to bind (it will thicken once it is cooked for a very long time)
  • I start cooking on the stove, and finish it in the oven (like a brazing meat)

And the chills (peppers) I used are:

    • fresh green chilli peppers
    • dries whole red chillies
    • chilli flakes
    • Hungarian paprika powder
    • Cayenne pepper
I’m sure she has qualities, much underrated
that compensate amply for this
along with a charm that is so understated
it’s easy for people to miss
BITCHEREL” BY ELEANOR BROWN

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We had a bit of a Margarita thing last night, so a good old Chili is just what the doctor ordered.

It depends upon taste, which must not be disputed;
for which of us does understand
why some like their furnishings pallid and muted
their cookery wholesome, but bland?
BITCHEREL” BY ELEANOR BROWN

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So, …. Happy Cooking ….

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hans Susser says:

    Good stuff Thomas 🙂
    Cheers

    1. ChefThomas says:

      Thanks Hans
      Cooking, writing and photographing was just as much fun as eating it …. indeed life is good

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