We Texans are particular about our Chili. For one thing, we capitalize it when we write it. When my grandfather died and they opened his safe deposit box all they found in it was his Chili recipe.
We have one grand stipulation that you have to promise if you are to be entrusted with a Chili recipe: our Chili does not contain beans. Not a single one. Am I clear? Can you take the no-bean pledge before we proceed?
Granddaddy had a special little shack out in the back where he would go cook his chili. I don't know of anything else he used this building for except Chili. It never was clear whether the recipe was such a top secret that he had to cook it in seclusion or if Grandmother just didn't want the mess inside the house.
I was never entrusted with Granddaddy's recipe for Chili. Maybe it had something to do with me being a girl. Or maybe it was because people spend entire lifetimes making a Chili recipe seem exotic and if you ever saw how simple it is you might be disappointed. After a lifetime of searching for just a simple straightforward Chili recipe I found it at the church Chili cookoff.
When I asked Pat Tripp for his prize-winning recipe he was suspicious. Assured that I wouldn't make fun of it or compete against him in a future contest he finally gave it to me. It is gloriously simple and has only one ingredient you could call exotic: cilantro. And if you find cilantro a challenge then there's just no hope for you.
Pat Tripp's Chili
(actually his father's who may or may not have kept this in a safe deposit box)
3 lbs meat (2 lbs ground meat and 1 of pork sausage)
1 large onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
brown the above
2 oz Chili powder
1 teaspoon each: cumin, black pepper, red pepper, salt
3 6 oz cans tomato paste
9 6 oz cans of water
1 bunch cilantro
bring to a boil and simmer two hours
eliminate the red pepper for children or yankees