This is my son Jordan's best chili recipe to date, the "Have you entered this into competition yet?" one. It comes with a short story:
My family does not often cook with a recipe and never writes one down when they "create." (Yes, there was a major forehead-bopping moment after I started my recipe site.) But things are looking up.
Jordan has informed me that "the whole North-American continent"
is hounding him for his chili recipe and I have to put it on the site
now! AND he actually bought measuring spoons so he could write down the
recipe! (See, I told you it was life-changing stuff.)
So here's Jordan's best chili recipe, right down to the 1/4 teaspoonfuls, with seasonings so unorthodox that we call it Rebel Chili.
This is a huge, 22+ pound, meat lovers' recipe (carne con chili?) that feeds about 50 as a main dish, lots more as a side dish. The secret: cooking all the meats separately helps them retain their individual flavors and textures in the chili. Wait for it and every flavor will skate across your tongue.
5 pounds tri-tip
4 pounds thick-cut bacon
5 pounds mild ground Italian sausage
5 pounds coarsely ground beef
3 large red onions
3 green bell peppers
2 pounds cooked/canned pinto beans
1 pound cooked/canned black beans
1-1/2 pounds napalitos (cactus, in the Mexican food section)
3 pounds green chiles (Ortega brand is good)
1-3/4 cups chile verde sauce (Las Palmas brand is good)
2 tablespoons tarragon
1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/4 teaspoons nutmeg or allspice
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
1 32-ounce jar sliced jalapenos, optional
Variety of hot sauces (chipotle, smoky, etc.)
Grill the tri-tip and bacon: Salt and pepper the tri-tip and grill over medium heat. Do not overcook it. Grill the bacon, too, to chewy stage, not overly crisp. Cool, then cut into bite-size (1/2-inch or so) pieces. Set aside.
Form the sausage into small meatballs and fry. Set aside.
In a very large pot, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat, adding a little oil if necessary. Don't chop it up too much, though. Reduce the heat and add the tri-tip, bacon and sausage to the pot.
Chunky-chop the red onions, bell peppers, napalitos, and green chiles. Add them to the pot along with the pinto beans, black beans, and chile verde sauce.
Stir in the seasonings and simmer over very low heat for about 2 hours. Serve.
Make-ahead directions: Cook all the meats except the ground beef and do all the chopping a day or two ahead of time; store in separate containers in the refrigerator. Then brown the ground beef and continue with the recipe from there.