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Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

Chile or Chili?

Well now, did you ever wonder why sometimes you see the word Chile and sometimes you see the word Chili all in the same recipe? Guess ya'll thought ol' Leo C. was just far enough down hill that he is about to lose it all. That ain't really so. Ol' Leo C. might be old as far as trips around the sun, but not so old he ain't with it. After all cookin' experiences go back a long time with some of my best buddies who all understood the definitive difference, whichever. We connived to combine classic chili cooking and such dishes as contain chiles of every variety. There now, did you see them two words, chili and chile? That should give you a clue to what I am saying here. But, then if you ain't caught on yet, here is the difference in the two words. Chile or Chiles are the various peppers such as Jalapeno, Habanera and the many varied varieties of peppers used as seasoning in the stew or soup referred to as Chili. Anyway, I thought of this opus as a need to know. So rejoice dear brothers and sisters that ol' Leo C. ain't over the hill yet. And, praise dear brothers and sisters, ol' Leo will be around for a long time to bring such knowledge to the light of day. Thus in such light, of whatever day, I have contrived to concoct a chili containing such chilies as may please pallets. I thought you all might like a little warmer upper so to speak. So here is a Chili recipe containing Chiles, I'll give it my favorite name of

West Texas Tex-Mex, Geothermic, Smokey Chili.

An' be sure you read the recipe first to make sure you got everything you will need. A lot of good stuff goes into this one which me an' John developed way back when, whenever. Just happened to find in my memoirs so to speak, wherever. And, it just might be a good idea here to divide this recipe into at least three or four steps so that it will be easy to do

Ok first things first.
Step one.
You will need a nice large bowl with a cover to mix and store the following:
4-5 pounds of lean beef cut up into 1 in. pieces.
1 tsp Sea Salt, 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon New Mexico Chili Powder.
Mix all this up in the bowl so the meat is all coated and then cover the bowl and store in the frig for at least 2 hours, or over night.

Next get a big stainless steel pot with a cover.
pound of smoky flavored bacon, cut up in small pieces.
4 medium sized onions, chopped
4 toes garlic, chopped
2 Anaheim or PoblanoChiles seeded and chopped
2 Jalapeno Chiles seeded and chopped.
28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes. Do not use stewed tomatoes
1 can Mich or Bud. You can get fancy here and even try Amber Bach
3 chicken flavored bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cups water.
1 tablespoon ground cumin.
1 teaspoon oregano.
cup molasses.

Cook the bacon in the pot, but do not let it get crisp, only want the bacon grease, so when the bacon is almost done, but not crisp, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside. Now get your beef and brown it in the pot -- use medium to high heat and do it in three stages, using a third of the beef at a time. Let it get brown on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove it and set aside with the bacon.

Now heat the onions and garlic on low to medium heat, till the onions look transparent. Stir in the chiles, and heat and stir for about another 5 minutes. Return the beef and bacon and stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a nice slow simmer and cover the pot and let simmer for about 2 hours or until the beef is tender. Be sure to stir from time to time so that nothing sticks to the bottom or sides of the pot.

And now the Coup de Grau

In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons Masa Harina flour, which can be found in most Hispanic markets, with about cup cider vinegar. Remove the lid from the pot and skim off any grease floating on top, discard that. Get about cup of the liquid from the pot and mix that with the flour and vinegar. Return all that to the pot and thoroughly mix and stir into the chili. Let it simmer uncovered for another 10 to 20 minutes to thicken.

Serve in heavy bowls, with grated Monterey Jack cheese and chopped red onions on top. That should serve about 6 hungry linebackers. A side of pinto beans will round out the meal. A jug of sangria will flush it all down.

Take Care Now, Ya'heah!

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