What Kind of Crazy Chili is the Post Eating?!

This morning during my perusal of the Post, I saw an article about Chili, and its relationship to the Super Bowl, which I’m told is on Sunday. Only now, at just after dinner time, have I calmed down enough to write about it. In their article, they mention a multiplicity of types of Chili, and that I can certainly get behind, but for the Post to claim that anyone in their right mind can include carrots and celery in their chili, they must have clearly slipped.

Chili, in its many forms, requires a tomato base, and the presence of beans, and is cooked low and slow, barely reaching much more than a simmer. Meat tends to be what defines the chili, either through its presence or absence, but really, mirepoix has no business belonging in a chili.

Post, listen well, and please find my very own native California chili below the cut.

1 large white onion
1 green pepper (either bell pepper can be replaced with an anaheim, cubanelle, etc, but leave at least one bell pepper for sweetness)
1 red pepper
1 jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic
kosher salt
olive oil

cayenne pepper, ground
black pepper, ground
chili powder, medium to hot.

1 can of black beans
1 can of red kidney beans (the darker, the better.)
1 can of pink beans

1-2 cans of diced tomatoes. I prefer the kind with jalapenos.

This is where you begin. Chop the onion and peppers roughly. Dice the garlic and then use the kosher salt as an abrasive and work it into a paste using the flat of the knife. In a saute pan, warm some oil to medium heat. Add the garlic, and stir until you can smell the garlic. Add the onion and peppers and let them begin to saute. Add the peppers and chili powder to taste. Generally, I use less than I think I need, and then season all the way after the chili reaches completion. The idea here is to spice the vegetables so they’re really aromatic and a bit spicy.

Move the vegetables out of the saute pan and into a dutch oven over medium heat. Combine with the cans of tomatoes and beans and simmer for a good long time. Generally 30-40 minutes is good.

A word about meat. You can go ground, you can go whole, you can go chunked, you can go without!. There are many paths to a good chili. Ground turkey, well spiced, makes a killer chili. So does italian or andouille sausage. Flank steak is a personal favorite because it’s very lean and tasty. There are many options, explore them all.

And for God’s sake, don’t put any goddamn carrots or celery in your chili!

4 Comments so far

  1. ab (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 3:45 pm

    For some crazy reason, my wife does not eat red meat so I have grown to love turkey chili more than traditional. Turkey, with habanero peppers, green peppers, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can black beans. I prefer using a tomato sauce base without the chunky tomattos. Simmer in a crockpot on low for eight hours and you have it made!

  2. Krempasky (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

    Actually Tom, to be fair – not all Chili has a tomato base. I believe Texas chili historically forgoes the tomatoes and instead relies on the juice from the meat. But carrots? that’s just foul.

  3. Steve (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

    Texan chili traditionalists would say, “And for God’s sake, don’t put any goddamn beans in your chili!”

  4. Buggs Bunny (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 12:44 am

    I love my chili with carrots.

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