I am an unabashed proud American. So it should come as no surprise that I love all the celebrations, events and foods associated with the anniversary of our country’s independence.
I decided I would make chili dogs for our holiday dinner and went back in my memory to a meal prepared by my son-in-law Roger several years ago. Roger made this dish one year while Randy and I were visiting the family in Alabama.
I passed by the kitchen several times and saw Roger working away chopping this and adding that until was dinner time. So when it came time to eat I was surprised when he said that we were having hot dogs. I’m thinking: What happened to the food he was preparing that had a wonderful smoky flavor that wafted throughout the house? We were each given a Nathan’s hot dog and other side dishes. The last dish he put on the table was a small ramekin with just a small amount of chili to put on our hot dogs.
I have never had a chili dog before but thought, Okay, I’ll give it a try. I loved it! Evidently it was the chili that Roger had been working on in the kitchen. I asked and he gave me the recipe. Roger developed this recipe after doing some research on internet site: http://chili.org/recipes.html.
Smokin’ Texas Chili by Roger Campbell:
(2) Brown in bacon grease and drain
(3) Saute ¼ cup minced onion and add to meat with (1) 8 oz. can Hunts tomato sauce and beef broth to cover
(4) Add dump #1:
½ tsp Mexican oregano
½ tsp Chipolte chile pepper
2 tsp Ancho chile pepper (I used dried Pasilla negro chiles)
(5) Simmer for 2 hours
(6) ½ hour before serving, add Dump #2:
2 tsp Gebhardt chili powder (I used Publix Chili Powder)
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste
(7) Add beef broth as needed to keep moist.
Now remember I have said many times over the last two years (with tongue in cheek) that I live in the back woods of Florida. Finding unusual ingredients can be a real challenge. I had difficulty finding the Ancho chili pepper and Gebhardt’s chili powder. I tried several markets and finally came home and started searching the internet. I learned that Wal-Mart carried Gerhardt and set off to get a bottle. Well, I was not successful. I asked a very nice man who was stocking the shelves and he said he had never seen that particular brand and said that not all the Wal-Mart’s carried the same foods. Okay one down.
I could not find Ancho chile pepper either but after some research learned that I could substitute Pasilla negro chile peppers. I knew that Publix carried these in the aisle that has Goya brand foods on the shelves. I picked up a package and ground my own pepper and all this for 2 teaspoons. The good news is that my next door neighbor loves peppers and would love to be the recipient of whatever was left over.
In the past I have always purchased the cut of meat I was going to use and spent time trimming and cutting the meat into little cubes. Not any more since I discovered how wonderful the meat department at Publix is. I chose the chuck roast and gave it to the butcher, told him the size cubes I needed, walked away returned after I finished my other shopping and it was done. How wonderful is that?
Preparing this chili is so simple. Brown the meat and add the first dump and let it simmer. Come back add second dump and you are done. After the chili was cooked I took a fork and shredded the meat. The meat was so tender it took no time at all.
The aroma of the chili cooking brought Randy into the kitchen. I asked him if he would like to have a taste and thought it was a bit too hot. I added just a little extra beef broth to turn the heat down. What we had after the substitutions and reduction of heat was a hearty, smoky chili that everyone loved. Our granddaughter Madalyn said the chili was, “Yummy deliciousness”.
The Fourth of July started very early. Randy and Madalyn decorated the motorcycle and prepared to participate in the community Fourth of July parade. We had a great day and looked forward to our dinner of chili dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans and brownies for dessert.
Several days later Madalyn asked if we had any hamburger buns and wondered if we could have chili sandwiches for dinner. I toasted the hamburger buns just a little to keep the juice of the chili from soaking through the bread. The chili sandwiches were great with just a little cheddar cheese and coleslaw adding new flavors and crunch. YUMMY!
I loved Roger’s chili and I loved the chili that I made and actually did not taste much difference between the two. Both were hearty and had a wonderful smoky flavor. Although I must admit I would have like it with a little more heat.