12/9/2017 – Molina’s Cantina, the oldest and one of the best Tex-Mex Restaurant in Houston, shared their famous Chili Con Carne recipe. This turned out great and got even better when warmed up a few days later. Unusual for us with no onions and no beans. The Ancho dried chiles made all the difference.
Made it with a 3.57 lb. fresh “bottom round rump roast” from HEB. Trimmed it of hard and heavy fat so it was about 3.25 lb. Increase all ingredients below by a little over 50% more but only had 10 Ancho pods. Used 1.5 tubes of saltine crackers to make the cracker meal as a box of four tubes is 16 oz. That was too much so read the notes below.
- 8-10 Dried Chile Ancho Pods, Seeded & Deveined.
- 2 Cloves Garlic – 1 oz. – (must be fresh)
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 pounds Chili Grind (course) Beef. [Ground fresh with the large hand grinder and the 1/4″ die.]
- 2 tsp Salt – [only added 1 tsp as the Saltine crackers will add a lot of salt.]
- 4 ounces Cracker Meal. [Using Saltine Crackers. Based on the weigh on the box, 16 oz., Tom decided how much of the “tubes” to use. That turned out to be 50% to 75% too much cracker meal for us.]
- 3 Cups Water
- Soak Chili Pods in hot water until soft – about 45 minutes
- Grind Chili Pods in processor – should be a coarse puree
- Brown Meat, add Chili Paste, Spices and simmer about 30 minutes
- Add Cracker Meal and mix well. Slowly add water until desired consistency.
- Simmer slowly to let it come together for a couple of hours. Better still warmed up the next day.
- Break up the peppers before soaking so when they go into the blender they will more easily turn into a “coarse puree” per the Molina’s recipe. Maybe the food processor would be better.
- Weigh the tubes of crackers to be sure one tube of a four-tube, 16-ounce box, actually weighs 4 ounces. If it does then reduce the cracker meal by at least 33%.
- Mary would add some diced stewed tomato [truly a blasphemous thought].