As you all know by now, Colorado and much of the Northern United States has been hit hard again with another round of Snomegeddon. It’s a Snow Day Depending on where you live in Colorado, the snow levels were anywhere from about 8 inches up to 34 inches. Our final snow totals were 13.5 inches. Today, the skies are once again blue, but we are stilling dealing with all the aftermath of the 2nd snowmegeddon. The roads are a wild adventure ride, filled with ice patches and snowbanks all around. It was definitely slow going anywhere you went. Coming back from work, my car thermometer read 18* F. Everything is still blanketed in a thick, fluffy, white blanket of snow, and it is still mighty cold out, but as I said, the skies are blue once more, and that is definitely a good sign. When not driving around in the mess on the roads, and when you can actually sit back and appreciate the beauty of the snow covered trees lit with Christmas lights, they really are a sight to behold. They are pretty magical indeed. This is our front tree.
It was the perfect weather to finish the Christmas decorations and for a nice pot of hot chili to warm us up. While the chili was cooking, we finished the Christmas decorations, with a little help from Nicodemus, our little black panther.
Chili is a Tejano dish, originating around the borders of Northern Mexico and Southern Texas. It was originally created by the working-class Tejano women for the cowboys to take out on the trails with them. Chili, or chili con carne, as a spicy beef stew made with chili peppers (hence the name) meat, usually beef, tomatoes, garlic, onions and spices. In the 1850’s it was made from dried beef, suet or hard fat, chili peppers and seasonings that were pounded together to make a brick that was left to dry. Then the cowboys would take it with them, and boil it when they were ready to eat. Originally, it was made without beans, but today, beans have become a key ingredient to most chilies. Now, there are so many different kinds of chili, both with and without beans. There is no one way or right way to make chili. Every family has their own recipe and their own secret ingredients, many of which have been passed down through the generations. Messing with a family’s tradition and/or a family’s chili recipe can be a serious crime to some. Some would say, those are fightin’ things. Don’t mess with the chili traditions; not if you value your life. 🙂 Chili is now the official dish of Texas.
This recipe is just one of many, many countless recipes.
3 lbs of seared beef, cut into cubes
2 jalapenos, diced fine
1 red onion, diced medium
1 green pepper, diced medium
2 TBSP garlic
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 cup tomatoes, medium dice
1 can diced tomatoes, with the juice
2 cans beans, either black or kidney or both – I used black, since that is what I had on hand – draining the juice is optional
2 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP crushed Aleppo chilies, optional
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups beef broth
2-3 TBSP flour
1-2 tsp cumin
Mix the beef, vegetables, garlic, onions and beans together well, and place them in a slow cooker.
Mix all the wet ingredients and the flour and add them to the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
Combine everything together well, cover it up, cook at a medium high temperature for about 4 hours, and forget about it until it is time to eat.
When the chili is ready, serve it with some hot cornbread and honey butter. And if you really want to make it Texas style, add some Fritos on top. You can also serve it with cheese, onions and sour cream too.