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Billy's Chili

This is an authentic recreation of chili as served to drovers and hands in the days of the trail drives, where chili is alleged to have originated.

Servings: 6

3 lbs boned beef chuck, cut into
1 1/2" cubes and trimmed of fat
1 Tbsp bacon drippings
6 dried ancho peppers
2 cups cold water
1 Tbsp oregano
3 cups water
1 Tbsp cumin seeds, crushed
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 Tbsp masa harina (Mexican hominy flour)

Put the meat through the coarse blade of a meat grinder. Brown in small batches in the bacon fat in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Transfer the cooked meat to a second large heavy skillet using a slotted spoon. Set aside. Wash the peppers in cold water. Discard the stems and seeds. Tear the peppers into 2" pieces. Place the pieces in a small sauce pan with the first measure of (cold) water. Cover. Simmer 20 minutes.

Drain, reserving the cooking water. Peel the skin from the peppers. Place in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the reserved water. Puree with short pulses. Mix the pepper puree into the beef. Add the second measure of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a slow simmer. Cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the masa harina. Cover. Simmer 45 minutes. Mix in the masa harina. Cover. Reduce heat to the lowest possible. Cook 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally so that the mixture doesn't stick. If too thick, thin with small amounts of boiling water. Serve.

Darlene's Strawberry Pie

(1) 9" baked pie shell
1 qt. fresh strawberries cleaned and sliced

Simmer together for 3 minutes to make pulp: 1 cup strawberries, 2/3 cup water, 1 tsp. Red food coloring. Blend in bowl 1 cup sugar and 3 tbls. cornstarch. Add mixture and 1/3 cup additional water to pulp mixture.

Bring to boil, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Pour cooled mixture over baked pie crust with remaining sliced strawberries. Chill until set. Top with fresh whipping cream and sliced strawberry.

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