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Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

Hot Pants Chili

Another unlikely name, ain't it? Well this one is another famed recipe that goes back to John and me at various Chili Competitions. This is sort of a throwback to a guy named Gebhardt, an old German guy what invented Gebhardt's Chili Powder. Now that was a long time ago, even before me and John ever thought about competitive chili cookin', Seems this ol' German fellow, put his invention on the market and improved chili making by having all the peppery ingredients mixed together in a container that could be shaken or spooned right into the pot. When me and John got acquainted with the stuff we even found some interesting recipes on the backs of the containers or with a big package of the stuff. And, through improvisations and experimentations we improved on a few of these recipes. Really if the truth be known, Ol' man Gebhardt was a good chili powder maker but hardly a chili connoisseur, seems he liked beans IN some of his chili and not with his chili. Cookin' beans in chili is hardly a recognized method of preparing real chili. But anyway, over the many moons of our experiences at cook outs, we always came up with interesting ideas and improvements.

We came up with the name Hot Pants Chili, because it is pretty spicy stuff and might even set some of my Yank buddies pants on fire. Now don't get scared off, all you ol' Yank buddies, it really goes down smooth as good Kentucky Whiskey. But, you may be looking for Ice Cream the next morning. Something else you might want to know about Gephardt's Chili Powder is that if not used right away it can lose its distinctive pepper flavor. In fact all chili powders lose their flavors after a while. Thus, rather than having Chili Powder left over from one cook off to the next, we went back to using our own store bought peppers and combining them into the right combinations of coordination, whatever. And, it so happened, we came up with this prize chili. It did get a 10th place out of about 100 or more contestants at one of the Missouri Kidney Foundation's sponsored Chili Cook Offs. So we thought it was worth the effort. We even got a big mug with 10th place engraved on it. That ain't all bad. After all being 10th out of 100 or more, or one in ten we thought was pretty good. An', beside all that if you do cook a pot of beans on the side to go with this fine chili, you should have enough to feed a film crew that just blew in to town to do one of them Authentic Texas Westerns. An', who knows, you might even show up in the credits.

So, before we begin here let's take stock of things, and see what you will need. Some of these ingredients might only be found at Specialty Spice Shops, I put them in Italics so you would be able to ask for them. Look around town and find a good Mexican Spice Shop. I remember a couple of good ones in St. Louis that John and me used to frequent to find everything we needed. I might call your attention here, that this is real Chili Connoisseur chili, and might be a bit of trouble to a beginner chili cook. Take your first effort out to the tailgate party. Them CKA drinkers will flush it all down without a whimper.

OK, let's get started. Here is the ingredient list.

3 lbs, very lean beef stew meat, cut up into in' pieces.
2 lbs, lean pork loin, ground coarse or cubed.
3 tablespoons, bacon drippings, or you can use lard if you don't save your bacon grease.
3 large yellow onions.
3 teaspoons ground cumin.
7 cloves garlic.
1 tablespoon ground, Chiles Pasillas.
1 teaspoon crushed, Chiles Quebrados.
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce.
Salt, to taste, you may want to check as you go.
5 fresh Jalapenos, seeded.
5 nice ripe tomatoes. Don't use canned.
7 dried, Chiles Anchos. The big black ones.
1 dried New Mexico Chile. Big red one.
2 dried Jap Chiles. Little skinny red ones.
1 teaspoon sugar.
1 can Bud or Mich, no lite, no cheap CKA stuff.
1 oz, unsweetened chocolate.
1 qt. water.
cup Masa Harina flour.

And here is how we do it:
Brown the meat in the bacon drippin's or lard in a large cast iron pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and heat until they are clear, don't let them burn or turn brown. In a food processor or a blender, combine the Cumin, Garlic, Chiles Pasillas, Chiles Quebrados, Tabasco, a bit of salt for starters, Jalapenos, and the tomatoes. Blend and set aside to steep.
Now remove the stems, seeds, and membranes from the Chiles Anchos, New Mexico Chiles, and the Jap Chiles. Place them in a small saucepan and just cover with warm water. Bring them to a boil and then cut heat and let them simmer for about 15 minutes.
Now place the softened peppers in the blender, but save the water in which you boiled them. Now blend the peppers with the tomato mixture, and blend until a smooth mixture and add to the meat pot. Add the sugar, beer, and the chocolate, and turn the heat down very low to a very slow simmer and cover the pot with its lid.
Let simmer for at least 2 hours, but ever so often check the pot and stir the chili so that nothing sticks to the bottom or sides of the pot. Keep the quart of water handy and as you check from time to time and stir, add a bit to keep a soupy consistency.
After about 2 hours the meat should be very tender. And now, for another half hour or so while the pot is uncovered we will adjust the flavor as we simmer, and bring it to the proper consistency. First check to see if any more salt is needed, and check to see if it is HOT enough to suit you. You can add a bit of the water you saved from the chiles, but be very careful here, that water is PURE FIRE, so go easy. Add a bit at a time and taste.
Now you can cut the heat and let the pot cool a bit. If you used very lean meat, there will be very little grease forming at the top. If there is some, skim it off.
Now turn your heat back on to very low to keep the pot hot. Mix enough water with the Masa Harina to form a thin paste, and stirring all the while slowly blend this into the pot. This will set the consistency of the Chili.

If you cooked a pot of beans on the side while you were cooking the Chili you should have enough goodies to feed that Camera Crew. And, some fresh made cornbread lathered with pure butter makes a meal for the Chili Lovers And, Margaritas will cool the pallets of all.

Take Care Now, Ya'heah!

Click on author's byline for bio followed by list of columns and articles published in previous issues of Pencil Stubs Online


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Reader Comments

Name: Tippy Email:
Comment: Does anyone know where I can buy Gephardt Chili Powder? I live in New York and use to get it shipped to me froma a friend in California. Thanks



Name: eric Email:
Comment: Hi Leo. I enjoyed reading about your Hot Pants Chili. I recently heard of another brand. See Cheers, Eric.



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