Flaming Lips AKA Pete’s Chili

Pete’s Chili

Before I scare you with all my talk about the feeling you will have of your face on the verge of bursting into flames from this chili, I must let you know, this particular batch was pleasantly “cooler” than previous batches. But if the hot chili beans are used as stated in the recipe at the end, all the warnings to come will be completely valid.

Since the recent cold front that so graciously presented itself to the great state of Texas, we’ve been needing a warm up.

In the form of chili.

This chili will warm you from the inside out, make your toes tingle, and your nose run. One bowl of this and those frosty nights will long be forgotten.

But ye be warned. It also comes with a warning label. There might be an off chance you will grow some hair on your chest and acquire the ability to spit fire if the proper precations aren’t taken when adding the heat. Of course that’s just my experience. For those of you who can handle the blazing heat of 4 jalapenos (with seeds), and hot chili beans, along with the feverish temp of the chili scorching the inside of your mouth, I guarantee this recipe will become a seasonal staple in no time.

Now, my husband hails from the gun shootin’, flannel wearin’, good ol’ country boy state of Wisconsin(and I from Minnesota, which are basically one in the same), where beer is always present at every family get together.  Point being, all of the cooking Pete does(great when it happens, yet minimal), always ends up with a can of beer in it. Not that cooking with beer has to do with him being from Wisconsin, but I’m almost certain it has some sort of influence. In the case of the chili, it really adds a nice flavor, so I’m all for it. Boiling brats in it? Yes. Stew? Yes. Tacos… no. Not in every case, but you catch the drift.

I digress.

Now on to the chili! *trumpets sounding*, *bells ringing*, *neighbors dogs barking ferociously in the background*… Not so much.

First off you need a great big shinny chili pot. Surprisingly called a chili pot because the only thing you will probably ever make in it will be a ginormous pot of chili.

Start by browning 4 pounds of hamburger. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. And I added a little dried minced onion because I add it to everything. Minced onion to me is like beer is to Pete.

By the way, in case the large pot and 4 pounds of hamburger weren’t clear enough, this batch of chili will feed a small army. So since it’s just us two, we like to share all its goodness with the neighbors, and pack the freezer full as well. I would say it should keep in the freezer for about 3-4 months.

While the hamburger is browning, chop up the onions, jalapenos, fresh tomatoes, and garlic cloves…

…and throw them all in a bowl. Make sure you flick a little in the nearby burning candle like we did. Just kidding.. how silly would that be…

Dump 1/4 of the onion mixture in with the hamburger, and you guessed it….BEER! But only half the can. The rest will be added later. Now you sauté, let the hamburger finish browning and some of the beer cook off.

Bring on the beans!

Once the hamburger is finished browning, drain as much of the liquid off as you can. Now add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and chili beans… pretty much until the pot is nearly full, leaving room to add the kidney beans later. Oh yea.. DON’T ADD THE KIDNEY BEANS YET.

There will be exact amounts at the end of this little walk through, but don’t depend too much on the exact amounts. It seems to vary with each batch seeing as we usually just dump things in until they look/taste right. But for the sake of having an actual recipe to go off of, I’ll write down what we put in this time just for you.

Now we wait.

Let it simmer uncovered on low for an hour or so. Maybe invite a few friends over to take in its aroma permeating through the house, and give you praise for being such a great cook, all while hinting at taking some home. The longer it simmers,  the better it tastes and the more time you have to entice your friends! We usually give it a day in the fridge before we eat, but tonight we were hungry, and it was awesome.

If it turns out more watery, add a can of tomato paste and simmer uncovered until it thickens.

In the last 30 minutes before you’re planning on eating, drain the juice from the cans and add the kidney beans. If added before and simmered for a long time, they tend to get mushy.

Serve in your favorite bowl with a heap of cheese!

Pete’s Chili

4lbs of lean hamburger (we used 96/4)

3 large sweet onions

8 small vine ripened tomatoes

4 garlic cloves

4 whole, de-stemmed jalapenos

2 tbsp chili powder

Salt & pepper to taste

4 16oz cans of Bush’s Chili Beans Mild Sauce (we usually use the Hot instead, but this was all the store had)

3 16oz cans of Bush’s Chili Beans Medium Sauce (4 works too, we just used 3)

3 14.5oz cans of Hunt’s diced tomatoes with mild green chilies

2 14.5oz cans of Hunts diced tomatoes with roasted garlic

1 28oz Hunt’s crushed tomatoes

1 6oz can of tomato paste with roasted garlic

4 16oz cans of Bush’s kidney beans (not to be added until the last 30 minutes, remember.)

1 can of beer (we used High Life)

Before you get all excited, you best know that this recipe was only allowed to be written down out of the kindness of Pete’s heart. So if you know Pete, give him a jingles, or shoot him an email thanking him for letting me divulge his tasty secrets! Because, after all, secrets aren’t secrets if they are publicly posted to a WordPress blog.

Happy cooking!