There are many legends and stories about where chili originated and it is generally thought, by most historians, that the earliest versions of chili were made by the very poorest people. There is a legend that I have heard many times growing up and I like the story, so I will share.
According to an old Southwestern American Indian legend and tale says that the first recipe for chili con carne was put on paper in the 17th century by a beautiful nun, Sister Mary Agreda of Spain. She was mysteriously known to the native Indians of the Southwest United States as "La Dama de Azul," or the lady in blue. The story goes that Sister Mary would go into trances with her body lifeless for days. When she awoke from these trances, she told stories of her spirit traveling to a faraway lands where she preached Christianity to savages and counseled them to seek out Spanish missionaries. Even though Historians know that Sister Mary never actually left Spain, yet Spanish missionaries and King Philip IV of Spain believed that she was the ghostly "La Dama de Azul" or "lady in blue" of the Indian Legends. It is said that sister Mary wrote down the recipe for chili which called for venison or antelope meat, onions, tomatoes, and chile peppers while she was here, but no accounts of this were ever recorded, so who knows?
The only thing certain about the origins of chili is that it did not originate in Mexico! And the list of original recipes could be produced a mile high, so you just have to try a few, pick your favorite, tweak it bit and you too could have your very own original recipe.
Today we are finishing up our dutch-oven recipes and spending next week pretending to be "Grill Masters", :) And since it is Sunday we wanted to offer a recipe that was both quick and easy or it can be made a day ahead and then warmed back up in the fire to save more time for going to church, family time and serving the Lord.
Do-Ahead Dutch-Oven Chili ( Texas Style )
- 2 pounds chuck roast or ground beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 tablespoons bacon grease
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 roasted green chilies or sweet banana peppers , seeded and chopped
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3 - 4 Tbs. chili powder
- 1 Tbs. cumin
- 1 Tbs. oregano
- 1 20-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 cans of red kidney beans
- Secret ingredient: 1 tablespoon grated cocoa
- Brown meat, garlic and onions in bacon grease in the Dutch oven. Be sure not to over cook meat, you still want some pink. It will finish cooking mixed with the other stuff.
- Add peppers and mix well. ( use jalapeno peppers if you heat or mix all three together like we do)
- Add remaining ingredients, put the Dutch oven lid on and cook 1 hour with 9 coals underneath and 15 on top.
- This chili is great served with dutch oven cornbread or homemade grilled tortillas. Also you can leave out the beans and this chili becomes a great Hot Dog chili. This is the way we serve it... :)
- Since we have be trying really hard to use Monday's as our "Monday Makeover" Day and we will be serving this tomorrow over our grilled Armadillo Eggs and dogs, we made this chili using ground Turkey instead of the beef and we really couldn't tell the difference, only a little bit in the texture.