Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chili, Mmm, Mmm, Good!

Three summers ago, I had lunch at the White Horse Tavern in Nashville, Tennessee where I ate the best bowl of chili in my life.  Ever since, I've tried to find the recipe, without success, though other chili recipes have come mighty close.  Usually chili is prepared Cincinnati-style -- with ground beef, which is certainly tasty and convenient, but what I consumed down in the Music City had succulent chunks of tender beef that had fallen off the bone.  In fact, it was a medley of all kinds of colorful, tender ingredients, including fresh peppers, onions, kidney beans, cilantro, tomatoes and other flavorful sensations.  The finished dish was hearty, spicy and so mouthwatering.  Ahhhh, the memory … I must take another trip down to Honky Tonk Land real soon.  Great city! people! and food!

The chili I made last weekend is also a keeper.  The recipe comes from Meghan M., who won first place in a chili cook off, hosted by the staff at People Magazine:

Meghan's Chili
2 pounds london broil
2 tablespoons Frank's Hot Sauce [or Louisiana Hot Sauce]
1 tablespoon Tabasco
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
½ cup chopped green peppers
½ cup chopped red peppers
2 large garlic cloves, minced  [I mince 3 - 4.]
2 16 ounces, canned tomatoes, or 4 cups fresh peeled tomatoes
1/4 to 1/3 cup chili powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 16 ounces can kidney beans
1 16 ounces can black beans

1} Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.  Put the london broil in a dutch oven with water so that the water is ½ way up the meat.  Add 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 1 tablespoon Tabasco.  Cover and cook in the oven for about 5 hours at 250 degrees.
2} When the beef is tender, remove from the liquid and pull the meat apart with a fork.
3} In a dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil, add the onions, peppers and garlic, and stir until tender; about 10 minutes.
4} Add the tomatoes (with liquid), chili powder, salt. Heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5} Stir in the beans and pulled meat. Heat and serve. Leftovers are delicious!

Alternatives:  At times, I substitute 2 pounds of lean, beef round cuts, first browning them in a pan, then simmering all the ingredients on the stovetop (low flame) for 2-3 hours.  Sometimes I add a teaspoon of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar to enhance a BBQ flavor.  Add 1/2 teaspoons of mustard and cumin seeds for extra zest. [You can adopt the recipe for a crock pot also.]

Thanks for sharing your winning recipe, Meghan!  Chili is a real stick-to-your-ribs meal and so perfect for Autumn's nippy evenings.

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  1. Nashville is too far for me, though I love country music. In New York, there is a place called Bills Bar & Burger, just opened at 51st between Fifth and Sixth (and they have another one downtown someplace). The chili not bad, and there is a good selection of beer to wash it down.
    Barry P

  2. Now you have done it! I'm hungry!