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Old 05-15-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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So, my question is exactly what the title is. LOL What makes chili, chili? I've been experimenting with making my own chili. The batch I made last night was essentially a giant pot of bean/veggie soup with a lot of chili powder in it. It was delicious, but it got me thinking... what makes chili, chili? What are your non negotiables in order to consider it "chili"? Discuss!
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:18 AM
 
Location: S.A., Texas ~ Pip Squeak supplier for Wash. D.C.~
109,216 posts, read 42,236,896 times
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Chili powder of course. Ground beef or cubed beef or venison. Garlic, onion, cumin, sometimes cayenne. Brown beef and saute onions, drain add flour and spices(stir and brown) then add water. Voila! No veggies in chili aside from onion and garlic (peppers if you like). I always cook pinto beans separately.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
15,778 posts, read 10,113,669 times
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I like to include lots of chunky tomatoes and Louisiana hot sauce in mine. I use meat, no beans...onions good, some garlic good....any kind of peppers in there for the green effect...just find some pepper thingies in the market and get them...I don't have any idea what half of them taste like anyway...and I melt cheese on top of each serving bowl I eat.

I haven't made it much at all, I just make what I think will taste good to my liking and then call it, "chili".
I remember one time I added some kind of flour or cornmeal or something, probably to thicken it.
Lol, I have had mrsrainroosty's and a couple of friends chili before and I don't like theirs....they all use beans! Yucko!.....

Aaaa...what do I know?!
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:39 AM
Status: "Sunny Day--Chasing the Clouds Away!" (set 14 hours ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Chili should not be as liquid as soup. It should be contained in the spoon with no spillage. Kind of thick and chewy with lots of beans, chili powder and grated cheddar on top. We eat it a lot in the winter, especially when ground beef is on sale.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: The Jar
15,632 posts, read 9,943,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SATX56 View Post
Chili powder of course. Ground beef or cubed beef or venison. Garlic, onion, cumin sometimes cayenne. Brown beef and saute onions, drain add flour and spices(stir and brown) then add water. Voila! No veggies in chili aside from onion and garlic (peppers if you like). I always cook pinto beans separately.

This^^^

Cumin is of great importance when making chili! Use a tiny bit of clove, too!
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:03 AM
 
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No beans or chunky stuff in my chili. I make it "championship" style chili with the tiny diced tri tip or other cuts of meats with spices etc. I have tasted chunky chilis and chilis with beans. They are okay but I vastly prefer my style of chili.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Central Midwest
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Just a For Your Information thing, in central Illinois, Chili is spelled Chilli and making Chilli in Illinois is serious business! This state has many chilli cook-off events and attracts persons from many states, including Texas. It's a chilli mecca around here when chilli cook-off events are taking place. The good thing is that visitors are always welcomed and free chilli samples are handed out under the cook-off contestant tents. I will tell you that some of the chilli recipes are horrible and almost uneatable. I wouldn't want to be a chilli judge!

I have accumulated lots of chilli recipes. For instance one recipe tells how to cook the chilli with beef suet, with chilli powder and lean ground beef, onions, tomato sauce salt and pepper. The kidney beans are cooked separately with some additional chilli powder and a small amount of tomato sauce. Then when the chilli is served, the beans are put on top of the chilli meat mixture. Too greasy for me but Mr. Chickie likes it this way.

Other recipes from the so called chilli (with two "L's") capital in the world in Central Illinois, include ingredients such as garlic, mushrooms, green pepper, celery, pinto beans, chilli beans with chilli sauce in the can, tomato paste, chili sauce from a bottle, crushed canned tomatoes, sugar, molasses, vinegar, beer, beef broth, worchestershire, cumin, and on and on.

I personally think the ingredients should be what you want. I do always use chilli beans canned with sauce and a can of black beans as they are so good for you. I also use crushed canned tomatoes and tomato sauce and chili sauce and chilli powder. Garlic and salt and pepper with onions and a nice dose of cumin completes most of my recipe (but I do add a can of mushroom pieces when we aren't having guests). But, I don't hand out my recipe as I might want to use it at a chilli competition in Central Ilinois. I really don't like my chilli with green peppers and carrots that some people want to include. I want chilli not vegetable soup.

Hope you find your chilli heaven and find what makes chili chili. I will continue to spell chilli with two "L's" which I have done all my life.

Last edited by rural chick; 05-15-2013 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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Seasoning.

That's the only consistent thing across styles of chili.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Texas
961 posts, read 1,351,222 times
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Red chili, to me, is a thick meat sauce (coarse ground beef) flavored with onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, beans or not, and thickened with masa or not. I prefer no beans but have mastered the art of eating around the beans. I like it topped with chopped raw onion and cheese and served with saltines.

Then there's Chicken Chili Verde, which I love. I don't use chili powder in it, just onion, garlic, cumin, chicken, chili verde sauce, white beans and cilantro. I like Tostitos with it. Then there's White Chicken Chili which I make similar to Chicken Chili Verde except use Ro-tel instead of chili verde sauce.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:49 AM
 
784 posts, read 741,475 times
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To me the defining characteristic of chilli would be meat stewed in a red sauce spiced with chilli's. Most chillis will also include basic ingredients such as onion, garlic, etc ... my own incorporates red, orange and yellow bell pepper, jalapeno and serrano, and a good ammount of beer base among other things. There is of course the beans vs. no beans debate - which of course the correct answer is with beans
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