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November 2006 Issue
Phil's Chile
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

With the weather cooling down and winter only a doorstep away, it's time for some warming food that is sure to please. I've had a hankerin' for chile lately so I decided to make my own from scratch. Since it got the thumbs up from everyone who tried it, it must be a good recipe. I certainly liked it.

Now, you don't need to use beef in this recipe. Given that it's the Thanksgiving season, you could certainly use leftover turkey instead. You can serve this dish with tortillas to make burritos or spoon it on top of a hot dog to make chili dogs. The choice is yours. Chile is versatile and can be used in a number of ways. You could even spoon it into a toasted sandwich roll and eat it like a sandwich. This dish is always better when topped with some grated cheddar or jack cheese.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!


Phil's Chile

Chile is a belly warming food, certainly appropriate for the cooler seasons. I don't like food that is painfully hot (spicy that is). So, you can tailor this recipe to suit your own taste on the heat scale. Simply increase the amount of New Mexico Chili powder or add some jalapeƱos if you want to add more heat. Also feel free to adjust the amount of cumin and chili powder depending on taste.

This recipe can also be prepared in a slow cooker. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors combine and infuse the dish. If you need to add liquid, add wine, beer or broth instead of water. This enhances the complexity of the final product.

I start this dish with some coarse ground beef, however as mentioned, you could use leftover chicken, turkey, or leave the meat out of it entirely. To do this, simply simmer the leftovers with the onion in a little oil before adding the tomatoes and add the appropriate spices.

  • 1 lb. coarse ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 5 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp. California chili powder
  • 1 tsp. New Mexico chili powder
  • 4 tsp. powdered cumin
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1 can chicken or beef broth
Heat a skillet or pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Next, add the onions and ground beef. Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Stir occasionally until the meat is browned, about 6 minutes. Next, add the garlic, oregano and canned diced tomatoes, including liquid. Allow to simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When and if additional liquid is needed, add some of the broth.

Next, add the beer and wine, sugar, cumin, California chili powder and New Mexico chili powder to taste. Also add the pinto beans, including liquid. Let simmer for at least one hour over low heat and stir frequently. Add broth or other liquid as necessary. After simmering for a total of 2 hours, taste the chile and adjust the seasonings to suit your own taste. Add more cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, jalapeƱos, serranos or habanero chilis if you really want to add some heat.

This is a very basic recipe and can be modified to your particular taste. You can add some diced celery, parsley or additional spices as desired. Feel free to experiment with your chile recipe until it is to your liking. One final note: The longer you cook your chile the better it will be as the flavors will infuse. Add liquid as necessary during the process of cooking.


  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 2 hours

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