Bowl of Red (Chili)

3.80 average, 15 votes
2008 November 16


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Bowl of Red is submitted by Belly Buddy Jeff Sellegren:

The best recipes come from the best kept secrets. My grandmother, who died about ten years ago at the age of 102, got a chili recipe from a guy who sold it in a bunch of cafe’s he owned in the 1920’s and 30’s in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It was a secret recipe that he kept closely guarded all his life. My grandmother took care of that old codger when he got too old to take care of himself, and on his death-bed (as these things usually happen) he told it to her. He lived to be 105, God rest his soul. He claimed that he owed his life’s longevity to a bowl of chili and a glass of kraut juice every day.

I substitute beer for the juice in my daily regimen.

I have served it to thousands of people from all over the world from as far away as Australia. This is a simple recipe that it is almost infinitely adaptable. I have made it with elk, deer, rattlesnake, alligator, antelope, pork, chicken, beef (of course), and turkey. I even made it with S(pecially) P(rocessed) A(nimal) M(atter) once.

Here’s what you do for two hungry guys:


  • 1 pound of meat (it can be almost any kind)
  • 1 diced onion
  • a clove or two of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of Gebhardt’s chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cummin
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • half a can of beer

Take a pound of meat and grind it coarsely or cut it into bit sized pieces. Take a pretty big pan and get it real hot. Put some oil or lard in it and toss in the meat. Stir and brown it up.

When it’s good and brown put it in a bowl. Turn the heat in your big pan down a little bit and throw in your diced onion, as much garlic as you’d like and brown it. As it starts to brown put a tablespoon of Gebhardt’s chili powder in. The recipe calls for Gebhardt’s but I also make my own chili powder and substitute that (I’ll get around to that recipe another day).

Put in a tablespoon each of oregano, ground cummin, tomato paste and cocoa powder (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). Let it all continue to brown and put the meat back in. Pour in half a can of beer with balls- not some thinned down candy-assed ladies beer either… something like porter or stout is good. Bring everything to a simmer by turning the heat way down, get a beer outta the fridge, sit down on the couch and kick back for a couple of hours.

When you can’t wait any longer, serve yourself up a bowl (drinking with the kraut juice is optional, and not encouraged).

You can turn this Bowl of Red into Cincinnati Chili by putting some cinnamon, allspice, cloves, turmeric, cardamum, catsup, and barbeque sauce into it. For the right effect though, you hafta cook a pound of spaghetti, open a can of red beans, dice more onion and shred some cheese for the toppings. Put some sketti on the plate, ladle on some chili, top it with beans, cheese, and onion.

Pardon us please, while we pay for beer...

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