Graydon's Chili Page
Graydon G. Goss, MD
Over the course of the next couple of months, I expect to develop this page into what will have to be the ultimate Chili reference on the internet. As a demonstration of my commitment to quality, I'd like to begin by publishing the following article by my father, Chester Curtis Goss, whose obsession with Chili is probably surpassed only by my own.
A Few Words on Chili
by Chester C. Goss
Hundreds claim the title of World's Best Chili Cook. They're amateurs. I write as a fourth generation professional and one that's had chili for breakfast at least 1000 times.
A batch of chili is like a snowflake, no two are alike. Those very few that really understand the dish know what I mean.
Except at the so-called cookoffs it's hard to make really bad chili but on a scale of 1 to 10 there are a lot of below 5's around. A 10 was only made once. This happened on a cold day, ( takes a cold day to have a batch rate above 9.8 ), January 10, 1936 at the Home Lunch in Fort Scott, Kansas. Some day I should write the story about that batch. To the best of my knowqlege I'm the only human alive who can consistently come up with batches that rate above 9.5. There were two other people but they're both dead.
The Fanny Farmer Cookbook, twelth edition, gives a Chile con Carne ( Please, let's just call it Chili! ) recipe. It should be disregarded as it will produce batches that rate 1.7 and below.
The following basic chile recipe is dedicated to my grandchildren. It will consistently produce batches that will rate 7.5 and above. It is not The Recipe. I may disclose it on my death bed if a family member proves worthy.
Chili ( 23d revision )
About 1 lb. ground chuck, ( coarse ground is best ) ( lean ground round plus 20% ground beef kidney suet is even better )
2 heaping tbs. of chili powder ( all chili powder is different, find a brand you like though it won't be consistent )
1 very small onion ( optional )
1 very small tomato ( optional )
1 heaping tsp. paprika ( optional )
4 very large garlic cloves ( dice or chop fine - don't use garlic press )
1 level tsp. hot red pepper flakes ( a little more or a little less depending on your ability to tolerate )
2 heaping tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
Beans ( you can use canned pink, red or pinto beans, listed in order of preference. Most supermarkets now carry Goya or other good brands. Avoid kidney beans. If you cook your own beans follow package directions. Prepare at least one day before you cook meat and refrigerate overnight. One pound of ground chuck will make enough chili for three people. Best to heat and serve beans separate so you can vary proportion of meat and beans to individual preference. Beans in dish first. If you mix before serving one small can of beans to a 1 lb. batch of chili meat is about right.)
Place first four items in a pan with water to about cover meat. Leave meat in one hunk as it comes from package. Cover with a tight lid, place over low heat, simmer for at least one hour. Uncover and break up meat into small bite size pieces. Simmer uncovered for another hour ( times need not be exact ). As water cooks off watch carefully to avoid burning. Grease from meat will cause cooking in latter stage to be at a higher temperature even though you are cooking on low heat. Watch carefully. Add a little water if needed.
After meat has simmered about another hour add the remaining items. Simmer ten minutes more and it is ready to serve.
Serve with fresh saltines. Milk is the best drink to serve with chili.
Say Cowboy's Grace before eating.
A Cowboy's Grace
Lord, God, you know us old cowhands is forgetful. Sometimes, I can't even recollect what happened yesterday. We is forgetful. We just know daylight from dark, summer, fall, winter and spring. But I sure hope we don't never forget to thank you before we eat a mess of good chili.
We don't know why, in your wisdom, you been so doggone good to us. The heathen Chinese don't have no chili, nver. The Frenchmen is left out. The Russians don't know no more about chili than a hog knows about a sidesaddle. Even the Mexicans don't get a good whiff of chili unless they live around here.
Chili-eaters is some of your chosen people, Lord. We don't know why you're so doggone good to us. But, Lord God don't never think we ain't grateful for this chili we are about to eat. Amen.
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See, what did I tell you?!
Anyway, now it's my turn:
A Few More Words on Chili
by Graydon G. Goss
Ive been improving on the above recipe for about 34 years. My medical background has helped a lot since Im well aware that above the age of 50 or so, taste buds ( and the entire gustatory brain apparatus altogether ) degenerate and whither away so its impossible to trust the recipe of anyone even near their 70s. ( They usually complain that Cream of Wheat is too spicy. ) I advise the following alterations to Chesters, (version 23), recipe:
Another Cowboys Grace
Oh, Lord, please dont let this Chili break up my marriage.
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Copyright 1997 Graydon G. Goss, MD
Last revised: March 28, 2015.