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I love Chili. I acknowledge that not everyone believes that beans should be in the chili but I can't imagine chili without beans. I mean, I like meat but what would you have with your chili (besides corn bread)? Maybe some tortillas? Why not beans? They just seem to go together; chili and beans. Oh well, to each their own.
I prefer my "hot" on the side. Some sliced Jalapenos or even some pepperoncini. I have a hiatal hernia and I can eat spicy hot foods BUT I have to make sure my last few bites are not hot. So I eat a few bites with slices of jalapenos and after that I restrict myself to only the milder chili.
The thing is, beans don't improve the flavor of chili, and vice-versa. Beans properly cooked have their own subtleties. Put them out as a side dish and leave the people free to commit their own abominations, if they choose.
And don't get me started on the Cincinnati 'Skyline' chili', cinnamon-flavored-spaghetti-sauce-over-noodles-called-'chili'. Ugh.
I love TexMex chili that I as a Texan have eaten all my life (and despite what you may have heard, a lot of us do like beans in it. Pinto beans. Not red kidney beans, ugh, why not just add elementary school paste).
Jalapeños. They're hot, but not ream your mouth and gut out hot. I despise habaneros, that's like adding motor oil. Anything over jalapeño Scoville units is just masochism.
Flour tortillas, unless you're just committed to corn tortillas (too dry for me).
As another native Texan I am totally with you about kidney beans. I can accept some people (not me) putting beans in chili but, please, NEVER kidney beans. Pintos or possibly black beans are acceptable.
I make my chili with salt-and-peppered cubed chuck roast sous vided for 24 to 48 hours. I dump the cooked meat and juices in a pot, add diluted tomato puree, and spice it with a copycat version of Wick Fowler's seasonings. Made some last week during the ice storm Delicious! Froze most of it for later.
Beans (kidney, red, black, whatever) or no beans; ground beef, chuck, or finer cuts (though the latter is a waste imho) it's all good to me. Just cook it low and slow, plenty of onion, bell pepper, jalaeno, and spices (a little cumin is a nice add), served hot with fresh green onion and some shredded cheese and I'll eat it and be happy.
'Proper' chili is like Mexican BBQ. Chunks of beef slow simmered in a crockpot all day with a little tomato sauce, add chopped onion and peppers - a little habanero, jalepeno, mirasol, tabasco, cayenne, mostly poblano - more tomato sauce and beef broth, let it cook a couple more hours while you enjoy a couple of cervazes,
throw some on a plate with a stack of tortillas and chow down. You can add side dishes of queso fresca, chopped onions, sour cream, if you like.