Backdoor Chili

Everybody thinks they have a good chili recipe. Some actually do, but they are in the minority. Now don’t get all offended at me, I’m not talking about your chili in particular. It might be great and all but really, do you feel confident enough about your recipe to enter a contest with it? Yeah, me either. David Valega, on the other hand, won the freaking world championship in 1990 with his “Backdoor Chili” recipe. Give it a whirl and you’ll find out exactly why.

Skip to the short version

” I [your name] swear not to add veggies or anything else healthy to this chili “

One of the many things I like about this recipe is that it requires no chopping or cutting of any kind. All of the ingredients are either meat, liquids, or powders. Easy peasy! It’s also not especially spicy (although it can be made to be) and it comes together in three or four hours tops. This is one of my go-to guaranteed slam dunk crowd pleaser recipes; I’ve made this for a number of different parties and have always received rave reviews. If only I had come up with this one myself… *sigh* No matter. I will paraphrase David’s superb recipe in this blog entry, but if you’re interested in the original, here it is.

My army of ingredients has been assembled, ready to do battle against vegetable-laden counterfeit chili knockoffs.

My army of ingredients has been assembled, ready to do battle against vegetable-laden counterfeit chili knockoffs.

If you’ve never had “true” (aka Texas style) chili before, this recipe may throw you off a little. There is absolutely no fluff whatsoever, and that’s how it’s meant to be. There are no beans, corn, wacky garnishes, or anything else – it’s just meat and flavor, period. If you like beans (I sure as heck do), make them separately and serve them on the side. For the love of all that is pure and good in this world, please do not add veggies. I beg you. NO VEGGIES. Repeat after me: “I [your name] swear not to add veggies or anything else healthy to this chili.” Good. I have experienced more bowls of chili that have been ruined by green things than I care to recall. I’m looking at you, California.


Ingredients

Part 1

  • 3 lbs beef chuck tender (You can also sub ground beef or turkey)
  • olive oil
  • two 14.5oz cans beef broth
  • one 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 4 dashes Tabasco pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbls onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp red (cayenne) pepper
  • 2 tsp low sodium beef bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon granules

Part 2

  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbls cumin
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 6 tbls chili powder (preferably Gebhardt’s)
  • salt to taste


Directions

Brown the meat in the bottom of a large pot using a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, and Tabasco sauce and stir well. Add the rest of the ingredients from part 1: Onion powder, red pepper, beef bouillon, and chicken bouillon. Stir until well mixed and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until the mixture is at a medium boil (or a strong simmer, if you prefer to think of it that way) and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, adding water as necessary. When is “necessary”? Well, if there are dry bits of meat protruding well above the surface of the liquid, you need to add water. If there aren’t, you don’t. If you need to stretch out your cooking time a bit (say, if your dinner guests are running late), it won’t hurt a thing to simmer the mixture in this state for an hour or even two.

This is what "enough liquid" looks like. Pretty scientific, right?

This is what “enough liquid” looks like. Pretty scientific, right?

When you are within half an hour of dinnertime, add all of the ingredients from part 2: Garlic powder, cumin, white pepper, and chili powder. Stir well, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. At the end of the 30 minutes, salt to taste and remove from heat. Serve with grated cheddar cheese (I like Tillamook sharp), chopped white onion, and pinto beans. It’s also great over pasta, on hot dogs, with Fritos… Heck, I’ve even thought about brushing my teeth with this stuff. Just remember, put the veggies in a salad bowl and let the awesome simplicity of this chili speak for itself. Welcome to the big leagues.

Look at that bowl of perfection. David Valega's chili can beat up your chili.

Look at that bowl of perfection. David Valega’s chili can beat up your chili.



tl;dr

Backdoor chili

Ingredients

Part 1

  • 3 lbs beef chuck tender (You can also sub ground beef or turkey)
  • olive oil
  • two 14.5oz cans beef broth
  • one 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 4 dashes Tabasco pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbls onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp red (cayenne) pepper
  • 2 tsp low sodium beef bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon granules

Part 2

  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbls cumin
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 6 tbls chili powder (preferably Gebhardt’s)


Directions

Brown meat in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add tomato sauce, beef broth, and Tabasco sauce and stir well. Add onion powder, red pepper, beef bouillon, and chicken bouillon, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and medium boil uncovered for 45 minutes. Add garlic powder, cumin, white pepper, and chili powder. Stir, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Salt to taste, remove from heat, and serve with grated cheddar cheese.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s