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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are two things a man does not divulge:
Were he buried the body, and what makes his chili totally awesome.
The two should not be related, but chili lore and technique, is often clouded in mystery.
A man must EARN his chili. It can't come from a Betty Crocker cookbook or a packet.
Its fought for. It takes years and more than a few cans of beer. Its a right of passage.
Its something entrusted to you by the most special BFF. Sometimes its pure luck.
But however you found it, yours is the perfect pot of chili and you're awefully proud of it.
People can try to make your recipe, but they can never make your chili.
Probably because you didn't tell them about the special secret ingredient. No self respecting chili cook does.
That special magic morsel was too hard and rare to come by. Men and ladies, have spent years pursuing it.
Mostly the men because we usually don't have a clue what were doing anyway.
But that is exactly what I'm asking for now, your magic ingredint or touch.
If you don't have a really good reason to keep that locked up, please share it.
Baby, its cold outside. Time for chili.
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I'll start.
If you grind your own powder, try a mix of Ancho, Morita, Chipotle (de-seeded) and a few chiltepines or pequines (with seeds).
Roast and toast just about everything, especially the cumin.
Brown meats in bacon rendering, if your faith allows it. Not olive oil, that's such a fad. Burns easily. Canola or Safflower oils are heat tolerant.
Try some smoked paprika or liquid smoke.
Sear meats with lots of grill marks.
Keep tomato juice to minimum and add a little vinegar to cut the acid.
Don't burn it, keep a plate between the pot and flame.
Black beans on the side.
If cooking with sausage or fatty meats, spoon off floating fat and grease as much as possible before adding vegetables or thickeners. We need to be alive for the next chili.
Sauté vegetables first but add to pot late and don't boil them. Preserve flavor and texture.
SALT!
The best advice I ever got:
"If you know what you're doing, they don't know what they're eating"
 

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I'll bite. I grew up in Texas, and my dad used to routinely enter and win chili contests. That said, my chili tastes do not necessarily comport with that convention...

I use pork instead of beef. Beans are a must. I like a little sweet corn. Tomato is an ingredient, but not primary. Chilis should be the #1 ingredient, and by a fair margin. I use chipotles for flavor and heat, and had been using hatches for body/flavor until I started seeing pueblos. Pueblo peppers are hatches with thicker and more flavorful flesh; the best parts of the hatch peppers, but more of it. Get them fire roasted when you can. Slow cooked for a long time the pork breaks down in a way beef doesn't, and thus falls into line in a supporting role to chilies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have LOTS of chili books and a collection of recipes, most of them useless.
Reading Robb Walsh's book now. If you want a decent chili book, get it.
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An old family secret! Add two cloves to the pot before you cook it for hours. It adds to the cumin flavor. That's if you like cumin.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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