Chiles 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

10.11.11 Lone Star Stew

Discussions of chili often lead to fisticuffs. (OK, I just wanted to say fisticuffs.) But it really is a very polarizing dish. The purists can go on and on about ground chuck versus cubed, beans or no beans, and the presence of tomatoes. Texans seems to feel very strongly that beans don't belong anywhere near "real" chili—actually an anglicization of chile con carne—but some of them include tomatoes and way too many seem to think it's OK to use chile powder rather than starting with whole dried chiles. I ain't afeared of dried chiles, having more than a little New Mexico in my blood, so that was an easy call for me. And the fact that my friend Michael hates beans pretty much tipped me over into the all-beef category. After researching recipes online (here are just a few options) I opted for authentic Texas chili as interpreted by blogger homesicktexan. For one thing, she spells the dried pepper as "chile," and the dish as "chili," just like I do, so I gravitated to her immediately. Plus she adds beer, coffee and Mexican chocolate to her incredibly dense and musky stew. I'd never made chili this serious before, and I'll never make any other kind again.
Tagged — Mexican chocolate