Clay's Kitchen : Chili Recipes

Chili Recipes

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <clay@panix.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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U.S. Army Chili (1896-1944)

Soldiers of the U.S. Army on the Western frontier had been eating chili since the war with Mexico in 1846, but not necessarily in their messes. The first Army publication to give a recipe for chili was published in 1896, The Manual For Army Cooks (War Department Document #18). By World War I, the Army had added garlic and beans; by World War II, tomatoes. This was a national pattern: Fannie Farmer did exactly the same (see the editions for 1914, 1930, and 1941)

1 round beefsteak
1 tablespoon hot drippings
2 tablespoon rice
1 cup boiling water
1 flour
1 salt
1 onion, optional
2 large dried red chile pods

Cut steak in small pieces. Put in frying pan with hot drippings, cup of hot water, and rice. Cover closely and cook slowly until tender. Remove seeds and parts of veins from chile pods. Cover with second cup of boiling water and let stand until cool. Then squeeze them in the hand until the water is thick and red. If not thick enough, add a little flour. Season with salt and a little onion, if desired. Pour sauce over meat-rice mixture and serve very hot.


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