Skip to comments.On The Range: Chili Con Carne
Posted on 04/16/2009 12:26:37 PM PDT by JoeProBono
Chili con carne, better known as chili for short, was named Official State Dish of Texas back in the late 1970s.
Why chili and not barbecue or steak? According to Paul Burka, political writer, food guru, and all-around resident curmudgeon of Texas Monthly magazine, the esteemed members of the Texas State Legislature were bribed with beer (probably enough to do the trick) and free chili by a lobbyist for the cause. In his article, "I Still Hate Chili," Burka notes, "(Chili lobbyist) Robert Marsh brewed what he claimed to be the world's largest pot of chili to feed to the members of the Legislature: 259 gallons weighing over 2500 pounds. Marsh also persuaded Pearl to donate 24 cases of beer, which several lawmakers told me had more to do with the bill's ultimate success than the taste of the chili." In short, politics as usual...and we were right about the beer's influence.
Chili, after all, is hardly Texan in origin. In fact, it may have been bought to the United States by settlers from the Canary Islands.
According to Robb Walsh, author of The Tex-Mex Cookbook, fifteen families arrived in San Antonio, in March, 1731, bringing their Berber-influenced love of spices with them. He adds that the Canary Island women reportedly made a stew of cumin, wild onions, chili peppers, the available herbs and cooked according to custom in big copper kettles outdoors in the plaza. Over time, meat was added and the dish evolved into modern chili.
Descendants of those original cooks kept up the practice of selling their rude fare well into the 20th century and became known as Chili Queens...until they were chased from downtown plazas for health reasons.
Other theories abound for the origin of chili. W.C. Jameson notes a dozen or so in his book, The Ultimate Chili Cookbook, speculating that the dish could have also come from Gold Rush settlers, Old West cowboys of--most mysteriously--La Dama de Azul (The Lady in Blue), a 17th Century Spanish nun who in a series of prophetic trances, told of visiting a distant land where she walked among natives and spoke to them about Christianity. With amazing accuracy, she described a dish consisting of venison, onions, tomatoes and peppers, an impressive feat considering she apparently died without ever having visited the New World.....
That chili with the beans in that picture is not from Texas.
Chili does not have beans in it. Beans are a side dish.
I see beans so that ain’t chili
It’s just “meat sauce” without beans.
....made a stew of cumin, wild onions, chili peppers, the available herbs and cooked according to custom in big copper kettles outdoors in the plaza. Over time, meat was added and the dish evolved into modern chili.
....With amazing accuracy, she described a dish consisting of venison, onions, tomatoes and peppers...
No mention of beans in the ingredients.
Paul Burka is a flaming liberal. He's the big reason I long ago quit buying and reading Texas Monthly.
I’m sweating jes thinking ‘bout it. MMMMM
Hey, Pa! What's fer dinner?
"Why chili. Yum, Yum...."
I rarely look to articles as definitive sources on anything.
Like I said, meat sauce.
When I saw this headline, I knew the bean argument would break out. I, by the way, am anti-beans in chile so don’t start in on me.
Hah, was about to ask why a bowl of beans is being shown.
In my area of NM it is Chile con Carne, chunks of meat with red chile, or chili, hamburger and beans with red chile.
That has beans in it - that’s not chili! That’s a pot of beans with some meat....
I made some “real Texas Chili” from a recipe I found on the internet. No beans, no tomato’s or tomato sauce. The stuff looked like a big cow patty.
I had that once - never again - couldn’t gag it down.
What is your fascination with pasta and chili? lol
Hehe, my wife, from Ohio, introduced me to that. It’s, um, different.
I guess if you grow up with something it seems normal - I had never even heard of anyone putting chili on pasta until I married.... I guess I lead a sheltered life. ;^)
“That chili with the beans in that picture is not from Texas.”
Looks like how my family makes it in New Mexico. Mmmm, mmmm. Tastes so much better with pintos. You chili snobs can keep your 1/2 finished version. The pintos may be a side dish (also vey delicious), but your stuff is a condiment.
Tell me, do they make sopapillas in Texas?
Wow, I posted the same pic without seeing that you had already done so.
TCP is just a few miles from my home, I may have to stop in this evening.
Guy Clark’s Dublin Blues:
I wish I was in Austin
In the Chili Parlour Bar
Drinkin’ Mad Dog Margaritas
And not carin’ where you are
I feel real bad for people that have never had a real “bowl of red”, and for those poor souls that throw beans in a pot of chili. Seems so wrong to me.
I also remember that what we called “New Mexico” chili had cheese in it, and of course, the beans. It was sort of a joke.
Our family recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of Bourbon to flavor the meat before the chili powder, peppers, etc. go in. Known as “Firewater Chili”.
Oh that sounds interesting.... care to make me a honorary cousin and share the family recipe?
Way too many beans in some of that “chili”.
Well now that just looks good.... I love chili dogs!
I don't know exactly when I discovered the difference between Texas and Cincinnati chili. I doubt that I've actually ever had true Texas chili ... maybe in terms of the spices I use but since ya'll mentioned that it has no beans, I reckon I can leave out the beans the next time I prepare it ... and skip the pasta. :)
But here's a recipe for Cincinnati chili: Cincinnati Chili
I thought I had a bowl of chili for lunch, but the meat wasn’t venison, so I guess it wasn’t chili.
This is a classic....
Texas Chili Cook Off - INEXPERIENCED CHILI JUDGE
Notes From An Inexperienced Chili Tester Named FRANK, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast: “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking
directions to the beer wagon, when the call came.
I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy, and besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting. So I accepted.”
Here are the scorecards from the event:
CHILI # 1 MIKE’S MANIAC MOBSTER MONSTER CHILI
JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
FRANK: Holy sh!t, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These Texans are crazy.
CHILI # 2 ARTHUR’S AFTERBURNER CHILI
JUDGE ONE: Smokey, with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
FRANK: Keep this out of the reach of children I’m not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.
CHILI # 3 FRED’S FAMOUS BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI
JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers.
FRANK: Call the EPA, I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting sh!t-faced from all the beer.
CHILI # 4 BUBBA’S BLACK MAGIC
JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it, is it possible to burnout taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills; that 300 lb. Bitch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear waste I’m eating. Is chili an
CHILI # 5 LINDA’S LEGAL LIP REMOVER
JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very Impressive.
JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
FRANK: My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage, Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring
beer directly on it from a pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off? It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks!
CHILI # 6 VERA’S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY
JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.
JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I sh!t myself when I farted and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. She must be kinkier than I thought. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!
CHILI # 7 SUSAN’S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI
JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should take note that I am worried about Judge Number 3, He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
FRANK: You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a damn thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava-like sh!t to match my
damn shirt. At least during the autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing; it’s too painful. Screw it. I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.
CHILI # 8 LESTER’S LAST OF THE RED-HOT LOVER’S CHILI
JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare it’s existence.
JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor Yank, wonder how he’d have reacted to a
really hot chili?
I love chili but you really don't know how good it was until the next day.
Where did chili come from???
Well, when God ran out of mana, he gave his people chili. Chili in all shapes and fashions, meat or no meat, beans or no beans. God loves all of his chili equally and ........so do I.
I’ve made chili so many ways, I can’t keep track. I’ve made chili with beans and without and with 1 kind of bean and many. I’ve made it with meat and without, and I’ve used ground beef, ground sirloin, grilled steak, ground chicken, grilled chicken, pork, turkey and venison. I’ve used different tomatoes and different chili peppers, and I’ve made it mild, extra extra spicy and in between.
Um, I’m hungry.