Monday, September 24, 2007

Uncle Ricky's Texas Chili

It has pretty much been fall since we got here in the middle of August, but now that the rest of you U.S. folks have caught up it's time for me to post about something that has become something of a legend - Uncle Ricky's Texas Chili.

Uncle Ricky is a real man - a native Texan who loves woodworking and romantic movies. He's Michael's uncle and became a bit immortalized last fall at our Cooking Club chili cook-off. We've made this recipe twice in the last couple of weeks (though we're making it frickadeller pork and veal meat these days). The recipe is below:

Uncle Ricky's Texas Chili
2½ lbs. lean ground beef
1 lb. sausage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 t. oregano
1 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
2 15 oz. cans Heinz tomato sauce
1 2 oz bottle Mexene Chili Powder
2 t. Chili Sauce

Brown the sausage and beef with the onions. Drain grease from meat. Mix meat mixture, tomato sauce, and 1½ quarts of warm to hot water in a stock/soup pot. Stir. Add spices, chili powder, and chili sauce. Stir again. Bring to a boil while stirring periodically. After the chili has come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer the chili for at least another 3-4 hours. Water will need to be added at various times, and additional spices, including those above and salt, can be added to taste.

For "extra Texas-ness" serve over Fritos.

Because I grew up with my mom's version of Cincinnati chili, Michael will sometimes violate the purity of the chili and put in a can or two of red beans for me. He's never caved and put noodles in the chili for me - that's taking things a bit to far. I like to eat my chili with cheddar cheese and crackers, while Michael prefers corn chips of some variety. And then there is Phil from Iowa who we all know prefers his chili with a side of cinnamon roll. ;)

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