Robert Mitchum’s Chili Wonder for the Cowboy Day Cook-along #3

Meatfeast! This is an absolutely DELICIOUS chili but man, oh man, it is meaty, meaty, meaty!

I made this as my dish for this year’s Cowboy Day Cookalong, organized by the wonderful inspiration that is Greg Swenson over at Recipe For Rebels. This is the MOST FUN EVENT OF THE YEAR and I encourage all of you to join in next time!  Everyone is welcome.  Yeehaw!

We had our event early, as BB will actually be IN the US of A hanging out with real cowboys no doubt…

Battenburgbelle threw a fabulous party and just like last year, she invited all her guests to bring a cowboy-esque dish.  There were so many delicious things including two other movie star related dishes.  BB made what we often both think of as the BEST EVER chili recipe – James Garner’s.

But now I’ve made Robert’s I’m not so sure.

The flavour of his chili was sooooooooooooooooo good, the little bit of chocolate making all the difference I think.  But you can only have a small portion really.

I think for Mitchum’s Chili Wonder, you’d need to have lots of other bits and pieces to have with it, otherwise you would end up with a huge BEEF BELLY with nothing else in it apart from MEAT.  I wrote a little article about Robert and his chilli a couple of years ago for Eat Drink Films and you can check that out here…

Becky made another of mine and Battenburgbelle’s favourite dishes.  Vincent Price’s Mexican Creamed Corn.  Oh – so – so – so – so – good.  I could probably eat some of this every single day of my life.

So here are the three cowgirls who made movie related fodder, Becky, me and Battenburg Belle.  Seen here holding the cup she won the day before at the Muswell Hill and District Horticultural Society` Summer Show

for her amazing chilli chocolate cake….

BB is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good at making cakes, there was also a Mexican tres leches cake and a beetroot red chiffon cake.

The lovely Davie of Seven Songs and The Walnuts fame entertained us all with some cowboy ditties.

He raised £220 for Alzheimer research, crammed into his lovely new collection bucket.

Party guests brought so many amazing and delicious dishes.  Here is my FIRST plate of goodies, I went back for more…


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!  I really want to have this whole plate of food again right now.  it was all so utterly gorgeous…

… and Robert Mitchum, you are so utterly cool! I love your chili / chilli.

Robert Mitchum’s Chili Wonder

Serves 8


4 strips bacon (or olive oil)
2 onions, peeled, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Seasoned flour: 2 parts chili powder to 1 part flour
3 lbs lean beef (top round) cut in 3/4-inch cubes
About 1 quart beef stock (or water)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 large tomatoes, peeled, chopped, optional
2-4 tablespoons chili powder, mixed with a little water until smooth
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, optional
Dash sugar, optional
1/2 oz bitter chocolate, shaved
Pinto or kidney beans and onion to serve (optional)

Cook bacon in large stock pot until crisp and brown. Lift out bacon, pour off excess fat so only 3 tablespoons remain (or use olive oil). Brown onions slowly in fat until soft; lift out.

Shake cubed beef in seasoned flour; brown quickly on all sides in onion-flavored grease (add more olive oil if necessary). Add browned onions, garlic, beef stock, vinegar, tomatoes, chili powder, water mixture, bay leaves, cumin seeds, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Bring to boil. Simmer slowly for 3-4 hours. Add chocolate during last half hour.

Taste to adjust seasonings. Add more liquid during cooking if needed, stir often to prevent sticking.  Serve with cooked pinto (or kidney beans) on the side. Top with chopped sweet onion if desired.

Notes: I used rump steak and didn’t have time to cook it for quite as long as Mitchum suggests.  I think it cooked for about 2.5 hours in total but the rump was nice and tender and it was all delicious.  Next time I will cook it for longer though, I’m guessing the meat just continues to get more and more tender.  I used about 150g Pancetta in place of the bacon.  I used Gebhardt Chili Powder because that’s what I had around the place.  I wasn’t sure how hot it was, so I just used 4 tablespoons for the seasoned flour and didn’t add any extra chili powder.  Next time I make it, I might add some New Mexico chilli powder – I have some left over from the Johnny Cash Chili and it’s a really lovely mild flavour.

I’m talking a lot about making this again, because I WILL make it again.  It was delicious.  Wish I’d had Mitchum to do the washing-up though.

Thanks Battenburg Belle for hosting such a fabulous party, Davie for entertaining us and Greg of Recipes For Rebels for inventing the whole fabulous idea in the first place!

8 Responses to Robert Mitchum’s Chili Wonder for the Cowboy Day Cook-along #3

  1. yinzerella 18 Jul, 2018 at 3:46 pm #

    I may have to try this, because I believe that Chasen’s Chili is the best chili of all.

    • Mark Brisenden 21 Jul, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

      This does look good, but I’m with on the Chasen’s . It’s why it has it over the James Garner recipe I don’t like the sweetness the sugar adds . I suspect the same could be true here though I’m sure the bay and vinegar add a nice additional flavour also, perhaps its worth dropping some dark chocolate into Chasen’s and see what happens !

      • Jenny 21 Jul, 2018 at 5:32 pm #

        Mmmm – dark chocolate in the Chasen’s? YES!

        Perhaps we should have some kind of international chili cookoff to decide who wins, Chasen’s, James Garner’s or Mitchum’s?! Mmmmmmmm!

  2. Greg 18 Jul, 2018 at 9:24 pm #

    You two do such a rootin’ tootin’ bang up job of this! Although I haven’t seen what everyone else has dreamed up for this year, I think you’ve got the biggest and most elaborate Cowboy Day event, hands down! LOVE all the Robert Mitchum photos in your posting…dreamy! (And that chili looks pretty outstanding too!) That plate of food looks absolutely mouth-watering! Bravo to you all for the charity funds you raised! Thanks for joining in!

  3. Battenburgbelle 19 Jul, 2018 at 6:56 am #

    Great post Jenny – it was a great evening!! You’re plate of food brought it all right back

    • Jenny 19 Jul, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

      BB – your party was a humdinger of a hoedown!

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