Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Billie's Supper Club Chili
With the snowstorm that blew in on Superbowl Sunday, I decided to treat my watch party guests to the holy grail of my recipe collection. They were greeted with a sacred family specialty, my Nannie's Supperclub Chili (with a side of skillet cornbread ofcourse!). I can't tell you how many people said "this is just what I needed" and "how perfect for a day like this"
This is the exact recipe that my Nannie served at Billie's Supper Club, the nightclub she owned and operated. The same nightclub that provided so much of the inspiration that lead my dad to become a musician. He spent the summers in Ft. Smith, Arkansas at his grandmother's house and pitched in by working in the kitchen. She would let him get up on stage and jam with the house band when the bar was slow. Billie's Supper Club is mentioned in songs such as Honkey Tonk U and Clancy's Tavern. And is almost always the picture that is painted in his mind as he pens songs about good ole country bars and the people that wander in and out of them. This chili is not only blue ribbon worthy in flavor, it also holds so many special stories and moments in each bite.
3 large white or yellow onions, chopped
10 lbs ground chuck (regular ground hamburger meat is fine too)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups water
3 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cumin
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp white pepper
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups cracker meal (just crumble crackers)
Use a big pot with a lid. Brown meat and onions about 1/2 way. Add water, stir and let simmer, covered, for 4 hours. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well. If you prefer beans in your chili you may add your favorite bean. Simmer for 1 more hour covered. You may add a little more water if needed. Salt to taste - remember that the cracker meal added salt too so taste it before adding any additional salt.
Make It Your Own!
If you like a really spicy chili, try adding some hot green chiles or increasing the amount of cracked red pepper. This is a large amount of chili, so bag it up and freeze the leftovers for a snowy day, which according to the weather man we will have plenty of in the near future!