Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No Damn Beans Chili

My mom is from the south, Texas, actually.
Her Uncle Pete, my Great Uncle Pete
was a southern genius in the kitchen.
He ran a restaurant and was championed in the family, Texas, 
(and/or the world depending on how much I feel like embellishing this story),
for having the best chocolate pies and the best bar-b-q sauce
It's pretty true.
At family get-togethers my brothers and I would scan the kitchen
for the chocolate pies and when we found them
we knew it was just going to be a good night.
When my mom's family moved to California in the 1950's,
they discovered that culinary faire was different out here.
Especially when it came to chili.
I grew up listening to my dad imitate Great Uncle Pete
when he'd say with the credibility of a chili afficionado that, 
"There I-ain't no di-amn bainz n chileh."
(There ain't no damn beans in chili.)
It's very hard to spell out his darling accent,
but it's even harder to find a good
"no di-amn bainz" chili recipe.
I'm not from Texas,
so I'm not a connosseur,
but I like this one.
I've been making it since I got married
in 1993 and TrueLove gets so excited when I make it.
And for a night when the kids are going out trick-or-treating
it's the perfect thing.
We all know the joys of the slow cooker,
but it's worth repeating that walking through the door
when the house is filled with the aroma of simmering, bold, spices,
similar to finding Uncle Pete's chocolate pies hiding,
that it's just going to be a good night.
(I got a feelin')
I was actually having a very annoying  day
so the smell of chili permeating every bit of air space was one of the
As the smell opened up,
my day actually got better too.
Here's the recipe:

3lb of ground beef
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves of garlic
1 24oz can of mild Enchilada sauce

1 24oz can of tomato sauce
1 10oz can of stewed tomatos
4 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp of celtic sea salt
2 tbsp of oregano (or 3 - 4)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp of cinnamon-trust me on this
(secret part coming)

This is all standard. Brown the beef, onion and garlic. Drain the fat.

Can we all agree that beef is not the most photogenic food?

Throw it all in the slow cooker.
Then put all the other stuff in the slow cooker for 4 - 6 hours on high.

Then, the secret yumminess is coming!
This is what makes it my favorite ever!
The topping!
I'm sure that my Great Uncle Pete, 
were he still alive today,
would say that if there "I-aint no di-amn bainz n chileh"
then there is certainly "I-aint no di-amn cornmayil on chileh aither".
But like I said, I'm not a connoisseur, I just know what I like.
Uncle Pete, thumbs up on the "no bean" part
and sorry, thumbs up for me on the topping.

30 minutes before you want to eat.
Boil 2 cups of water.
Then pour 1 cup of cornmeal slowly in, stirring,
turn the heat to low and stir until it's thick.

scoop the cornmeal in drops onto the chili and close the lid for 
thirty minutes.

After that put some cheddar cheese on there and close the lid
until the cheese melts (just a few minutes).

It's so good!
The cornmeal absorbs some of the liquid and
then the chili has some chewy corn
dumpling-like goodies on the inside.
And it means that I don't have to make corn bread.
Then a dollop of sour cream
and all's goooood!
And a beer.

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