It is freezing and windy outside, 32* to be exact. The wind is blowing the snow in circles, around me, around the birds, around everything. My eyes are watering so that I cannot focus. I decided since snow is a rare occurrence in my part of Texas that I should photograph “Lew’s Lone Star Chili” outside! Wearing a heavy jacket with the hood up, gloves, snow boots, and long johns under my jeans I ventured out with a steaming bowl of chili. As you might guess, it didn’t steam for long!
It was downright COLD with the wind blowing in my face. I will be savoring a hot, steamy bowl of chili in a few short minutes. But before I do I wanted to tell you about this recipe.
‘Lew’s Lone Star Chili” is a recipe from my Daddy’s cookbook. It’s not a cookbook you will find in a bookstore, on Amazon or even in a used book shop. It is in fact a cookbook, personalized to me from my Dad, who enjoyed preparing meals for his guests at home, at the boutique hotel he ran in Palm Springs, California, at the hill country ranch where he hunted with his friends, and anywhere else that someone would grant him the privilege of cooking up a meal. It is bound in a red paper binder, with a rectangular sticker on front that says, “MY COOKBOOK”, with his signature below. It is special to me – the most special cookbook I own, because he isn’t here now to tell me how to do it. I learned countless things from my Dad, but the lesson on preparing and sharing a good meal with another is one of the most valuable and priceless things he left with me. Thanks Daddy!
Lew’s Lone Star Chili
1 pound ground chili meat
1 pound of ground elk
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 12 oz. can or bottle of beer (I used Shiner-my Dad used Lone Star)
1 cup water
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2-1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (I used about 1/2 tsp.)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and brown meat. When meat is almost done, add onions and garlic, cook until onions begin to soften. Put meat and onion mixture in a 2 quart pot, add all of the remaining ingredients, stir to incorporate all the spices and liquids, simmer for at least an hour.
While the chili simmers try a taste every so often and add more spices or pepper to suit your taste. The recipe as written is not very hot or too spicy. Miss T does not like too hot or spicy so I try to accommodate her mild taste level. You may desire a spicier, hotter version. GO for it!
This recipe made as written will feed 4 hungry folks one good sized serving – if you are serving more people feel free to double the recipe.