The Spouse's Chili

February  7, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

Even though he is strictly a product of New Jersey, the Spouse has always been 100% Lone Star when it comes to his chili. He became even more of a chili snob once he got onto the chili cookoff trail and started hanging out with folks named Big Jim (Hog's Breath Chili), Doc (Secret Remedy Chili), and most tellingly, Tarantula Jack (famous for his Thundering Herd Buffalo Tail Chili. I am not making this up). They would spend hours drinking beer and doing shots and debating the merits of different kinds of chili peppers and whether granulated garlic was better than whole garlic cloves for competition purposes because you could control the amount down the the last obididdy and so on. About the only thing that would break up these discussions was when it came time to judge the Miss Chili Pepper contest. Go figure. —wssmom

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds tri-tip, cut into small cubes
  • 1 baseball-sized sweet onion, chopped fine
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2-3 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cumin, toasted briefly
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 tablespoons commercial, no salt added chili powder, such as Gebhardts, Whole Foods, or WIlliams-Sonoma
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. In a skillet, brown the meat until there's no more pink left. Drain off the fat, put the meat into a heavy pot with a close-fitting lid, add the onions, garlic and 2 1/2 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, use a medium bowl to mix together the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, balsamic vinegar and enough of the stock to make it so it doesn't clump.
  3. Stir in the sauce, cover again and simmer another 30 minutes or so or until the meat it meltingly tender.
  4. Take the lid off, let reduce for five minutes or so, salt and pepper to taste, and adjust seasonings.
  5. Serve with plenty of grated cheese and chopped onion.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • aargersi
  • Bevi
  • wssmom

4 Reviews

aargersi February 7, 2012
Love the chili and the headnote - you missed the contest cutoff though! Boo! Um, Does Miss Chili Britches have anything on under that there apron?
wssmom February 8, 2012
ROFL! Told the Spouse the enter it, but he failed to do so, so I thought I'd post it anyways ...
Bevi February 7, 2012
Yikes. I saved this for a variety of reasons: 1) It sounds simply great and simple; 2) Your headnote is the best prose I have read in a long time; 3) the photo is priceless; 4) you got a real Guy there.
wssmom February 8, 2012
Simple, yes, and great also!! LOL!