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Texas Jail Chili (Circa 1950)

Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

1/2 lb 227g / 8ozBeef suet - ground
2 lbs 908g / 32ozCoarse ground beef
3   Garlic cloves - minced
1 1/2 tablespoons 22mlPaprika
3 tablespoons 45mlChili powder
1 tablespoon 15mlCumin seeds
1 tablespoon 15mlSalt
1 teaspoon 5mlWhite pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons 7.5mlGround dried sweet chile pods
3 cups 711mlWater

Recipe Instructions

Texas prison chili got its good reputation from Sheriff Smoot Schmid's truly fine recipe for the Dallas County Jail. Recently, however, a Texas prison chili contest was won by Huntsville Penitentiary with a godawful recipe that called for twice as much cumin as chili powder and "2 handfuls" of monosodium glutamate. In Texas, this is called crime deterrence.

Dallas County Chili

Fry suet in a heavy kettle. Add meat, finely diced garlic and seasonings; cover. Cook slowly for four hours, stirring occasionally. Add the water and continue cooking until the chili has thickened slightly, about one hour. Serve plain or mixed with equal portion of cooked pink or red beans.

John Thorne Sep/Oct Chile Pepper Magazine


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