H. Allen Smith Chili Con Carne Recipe


The first chili cook-off known to modern man took place in 1967 in uninhabited Terlingua, Texas (once a thriving mercury-mining town of 5,000 people).  It was a two-man cook-off between Texas chili champ Wick Fowler (a Dallas and Denton newspaper reporter) and H. Allen Smith (humorist and author), which ended in a tie.

The cook-off challenge started when H. Allen Smith wrote a story for the Holiday magazine titled Nobody Knows More About Chili Than I Do, which raised the wrath of Texas chili graduate students.  The cook-off competition ended in a tie vote when the tie-breaker judge allowed someone to ram a spoonful of chili into his mouth and promptly spit it all over the referee’s foot and then he went into convulsions.  He rammed a handkerchief down his throat and pronounced himself unable to go on and declared a one-year moratorium in the world championship chili cook-off.

Recipe from the book Chili Madness by Jane Butel, published by Workman Publishing, 1980.

Learn about the history and legends of Chili, Chili Con Carne.


Chili H. Allen Smith Chili Con Carne

H. Allen Smith Chili Con Carne Recipe:

H. Allen Smith Chili Con Carne Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Yield: 8 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
4 pounds beef sirloin or tenderloin, coarse chili grind
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
4 cups water
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons ground hot red chile peppers
1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon cumin seed or ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste



Heat the oil or butter (or a blend of the two) in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat.  Add the meat to the pot. Break up any lumps with a fork and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is evenly browned.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring just to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours.  Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serves 8.



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Beef Chili Recipes    Chili Recipes    Dinner    Sirloin Steak   

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