This recipe was one of my dad’s favorites. He was the administrator for the local National Guard Armory, and really enjoyed cooking for “all the guys” on drill weekends. This recipe was adapted, enhanced and embellished from the Army’s 1944 Cook’s Manual, Recipe #321 (Chili Con Carne). Dad’s recipe doesn’t much resemble the one in the Manual, but is the result of much experimentation and embellishment. This one is not as hot as it may sound, but does carry a lot of spicy flavors, mellowed by the chocolate flavor.
6 pounds chuck, ground, or sliced into small cubes
2 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 TBSP salt
2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
6 TBSP chili powder, (adjust to taste)
2 TBSP cumin seeds, crushed or powdered
1 can (14.5 ounce) red kidney beans, drained
1 can Chili beans, drained
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, or cocoa powder (optional)
1 quart tomato juice
4 cups crushed tomatoes
4 cups beef broth
1 TBSP crushed black pepper
1 TBSP red pepper (or chopped hot peppers)
1/2 cup corn meal
3 TBSP vegetable oil
1. Brown meat, 2 pounds at a time in vegetable oil, and set aside
2. Saute onions and garlic until just golden in a pot large enough to hold all ingredients
3. Add the cooked meat to the onions, add salt, Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil, tomatoes, tomato juice, broth, and chocolate.
4. Bring to a rapid boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for a minimum of 2 hours.
5. Add corn meal to thicken.
6. Add kidney and chili beans just before serving, or heat and serve separately.
Serving suggestion: Serve with your choice of sides: rice, sour cream, pineapple chunks, guacamole, corn tortilla chips, sliced black olives, chopped green onions, crushed red pepper, fresh tomato wedges, chopped fresh cilantro, corn, and shredded cheese.