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Putting 4 Morning Show chili recipes to the firefighter test

Thursday is National Chili Day, so today we’ve got four chili recipes we’re putting to the truest test we know: Firefighters!

So which one will come out on top?

We’ll find out during the 8 a.m. hour of “The Morning Show.”

Richard’s Real Texas Beef Chili

This recipe is an authentic chili recipe. No beans. No tomatoes. Just dried chilis with a little acid and sweetness to balance the heat and the fat. I imagine this is what chili was like on the dusty trail, served out of a Conestoga Wagon. It’s what Texans call a Bowl o’ Red.

Ingredients:

2 oz dried whole chiles (6 to 8 chiles)

These can be any dried chili or combination

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin, toasted and fresh ground

1/2 teaspoon toasted fresh ground pepper

Coarse Kosher salt to taste

5 tablespoons Lard or beef suet

2 1/2 to 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

3 cloves of garlic

2 cups beef bone broth or beef stock

2 cups water

2 tablespoons corn flour (Masa Harina)

1 tablespoon pack dark brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar

Toppings:

Cheese

Sour Cream

Lime wedges

Prep:

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Toast chiles in a skillet over low to medium heat for 2 to 5 minutes. When you can smell the chiles, your done. Place chiles in a bowl and pour hot water over chiles. Allow to soak for 10-20 minutes.

Drain and deseed the chiles. In a blender, place chiles, toasted cumin, black pepper, 1 tablespoon salt. Add some of the liquid from the soaked chiles to the blender. Blend until smooth.

Using the skillet from the toasted chiles return to a med-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of lard. Allow the lard to melt and just start to smoke. Add half of the cubed beef and brown, about 3 - 5 minutes. Repeat with second half.

In the same skillet melt remaining lard. Add onion and garlic, stir until fragrant. Add stock and 2 cups of water. Whisk in the corn flour. Add the chili paste and with a wooden spoon or spatula, scape any of the tasty brown bits that may be stuck to the skillet. Now add the meat and any drippings. Reduce heat to a simmer. By the way, a simmer is small bubbles, breaking the surface every couple of seconds. Cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remaining liquid should be thickened, but not a paste. If it appears to "dry" add beef broth or water.

Stir in brown sugar and vinegar allow to simmer another 10 minutes. At this point, taste to adjust seasoning. Turn off the heat and allow to stand for 15 to 30 minutes to allow meat to absorb the liquid and the sauce to bind to the meat.

Return skillet to heat before serving.

I like mine with a dollop of real sour cream and a squeeze of lime...and a beer or two.

Albany’s Smokey Shrimp Chili

Kidney beans: 2 cans

Black beans: 2 cans

Garbanzo beans: 2 cans

Onion: 1 yellow onion chopped, sautéed before adding to pot

Green, red bell pepper

Shrimp: 10 or 12 shrimp (peeled and de-veined)

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Corn: 1 can

Tomato juice: ½ cup

Tomato paste: 1 can

Canned tomatoes: 2 cans

Chili powder: 2 teaspoons

Old bay: 1 tablespoon

Curry: 1 tablespoon

Garnishes: Avocado, sour cream

PREPARATION: Simmer in pot on stove for one hour, sautee shrimp in pan and when the chili is done, then add the shrimp.

Shawn’s Spicy Pork Chili

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound sliced bacon

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large white onion, chopped

1 to 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped or 2 to 3 fresh serrano peppers (if more spice is desired)

1 poblanos pepper, seeded and diced

4 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled

1/3 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

22 1/2-ounce beef broth

1 cup water

28- to 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes with purée

2 (19-ounce) cans small red beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Accompaniments: toasted salted pumpkin seeds, chopped red onion, torn fresh cilantro sprigs, diced avocado, lime wedges, sour cream, or warmed corn chips or tortilla chips

PREPARATION

Cook bacon in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, turning, until crisp. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain and pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot. Crumble bacon. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Add oil to pot and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown pork in about 6 batches without crowding and transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add onion and jalapeños and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne, then cook, stirring, 1 minute. Return pork to pot with any juices accumulated on plate and add broth, coffee, water, and tomatoes with purée.

Simmer chili, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Stir in beans and bring to a simmer, stirring.

Serve chili with bacon and accompaniments.

Cooks' notes:

· Chili may be made 2 days ahead, cooled completely, then chilled, covered. Reheat before serving.

· Onion, cilantro sprigs, and lime wedges can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead and chilled in separate sealed plastic bags.

Jen’s Mom’s Famous Bean Chili

My mom and I had a great time making her chili last night. I stopped eating meat when I was a teenager, so she was always trying to come up with recipes that made sure to contain another source of protein. This is her famous bean chili -- at least it’s famous in our house!

Ingredients:

3 peppers (red, green, yellow) chopped

1 large sweet onion chopped

Sautéed in 2 tablespoons olive oil

Then add:

1/2 of a jalapeño, sliced without seeds

2 pkgs. Publix chili seasoning mix

10 cans assorted bush beans

(black, kidney, chili, great northern, garbanzo)

1 large 24 ounce can crushed tomatoes

Bring to boil, cover and simmer 3-4 hours

Add 1 cup water if needed

Enjoy!