I am never going to use dried beans again (unless a movie star specifically tells me to). They never, ever go soft for me, no matter how long I cook the little beggers. I cooked the beans for this chilli as Raymond directed me to, with salt pork (in my case pancetta) after soaking them overnight.
There was no cooking time so I had them ticking over for 3 hours (it said one hour on the packet) and they were still not soft. I added all the other bits and bobs in the recipe and stuck it all in my slow cooker to bibble away overnight on low.
8 hours later, the beans were still not soft. They were edible but crumbly.
I should have asked my friend the food writer Sam Kilgour about dried beans BEFORE making this dish rather than after. She said that there’s no point unless you have a pressure cooker. We had a good laugh about the fact that everyone says you can get more flavour into a dried bean cooked up but Sam said, “If I want to get flavour into my beans I take them out of the tin and put them into a delicious stew.” I know what she means and I hereby announce I am forgetting about dried beans for the foreseeable future.
When I told Sam I STILL didn’t really know what the UK equivalent of fat salt pork was she gave me sound advice, “it’s just brined pork.” She suggested that next time I use a ham hock or even “some pigs trotters salted and left in the fridge for a couple of days would do the trick.” Well, that’s a step too far for me, but I did take her point that my using a slab of pricy pancetta for this was “a bit of a waste of pancetta.”
If you like a fairly plain chilli this one might be for you. ½ to ¾ teaspoon of chilli powder seems a TINY amount to me (I used more) and there are no other herbs or spices or flavour boosters. I guess if you used a super powerful chilli powder you could ramp up the flavour stakes, but for my money adding some chilli sauce and a good few glugs of Worcestershire sauce at the table is the way to go with this particular chilli.
I used Mexene chilli powder as I’d bought some for Johnny Cash’s Chilli The brand was specified by the great man himself, so I asked Heather & Nathan to bring me some back from the States.
(I still really, really want a vintage Mexene tin with a little devil on it)
I didn’t want Johnny’s reaction to me using a different kind of chilli powder than Mexene in his dish to be this.
So as with all movie star recipes I make, I do it as closely as I can to the written word, but if I make this again it would be with tinned beans and a lot more chilli powder!
This recipe will be going in the Cooking The Detectives book alongside the entry for Ironside.
Like Lieutenant Columbo, Ironside loves chilli.
Note – A #2 can holds 1 pound 4 ounces, 2 ½ cups, or 566 grams of tomatoes depending on your measuring stick of choice.
Raymond Burr’s Chili Supreme
1½ pounds ground round steak
2 large onions
2 tablespoons Wesson oil
1 pound dried red beans
Chunk of salt pork
1 x #2 can of tomatoes
Chili powder to taste (about ½ to ¾ teaspoon)
Cook beans in a large pan along with salt pork until the beans are good and tender, let them boil down until the soup is thick.
Saute ground beef, onions along with chili powder until done. Add to beans and can of tomatoes, continue to cook in saucepan for 2 hour or more under a very low heat. This produces a sweet succulent chili like you have never tasted before. Better the second day.
I worry about Ironside’s detective skills if he holds a gun like that!
Canned beans (and chickpeas) all the way for me, especially with the price of fuel to cook dried ones.
The husband likes making chilli so I shall give him the recipe 🙂
Barely seems a chili, but I think I tried dried beans once which though ok, did not seem worth the bother & time when surrounded by good tinned varieties. My grandma used to get ham bones from the butcher and throw them into her pressure cooker with spuds, carrots, onion, sometimes celery, dried red lentils & s&p & water to cover which would create an amazing thick hammy, orange hued swamp of a soup, amazing and a childhood favourite.
A lot of US chili recipes do like to mix pork and beef, but Chasen merely slices a pork chop thin . If I use both, I get a nice sized chop, cut the fat off and use that in the frying pan to saute the veg and then brown the meat in it before combining in the pot with toms, seasonings and eventually tinned beans. I then put some of that fat in the pot to simmer with it and cover the rest in salt and eat immediately as pork cracklings ! Chef’s perk !
MARK – I must stop reading your comments early in the morning as they make me SO HUNGRY. You have just reminded me that I have some pork crackling in the fridge. I am going to eat some of that as a breakfast snack in a minute. Maybe in the new year you could come over and we’ll cook a Chasen’s together?
Thanks for the Xmas card and tenner! Wishing you a fabulous festive season with lots of scruffy (um, I meant scrummy but predictive text says scruffy!) food. There’s a good Gene Tierney roast pork coming up which I feel might have your name on it, that’s where the crackling comes from! Jx
I hear ya on the fuel costs, Lisa. Bonkers to have them bubbling away on the stove for hours these days. If your husband fancies making a star spangled chilli, James Garner’s is the one I would recommend. Movie stars sure did love their chilli and I have tried a lot of them, this one is tops. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to avoid that, “Get to the sodding recipe” feeling! https://www.silverscreensuppers.com/james-garner/james-garners-oklahoma-chili – I think the secret is the margarine!
I know ! I always read your blogs wih or just after meals to avoid that, but itdoes often makes my repast feel quite meagre in comparison, but just thinking of my grandmas at any time makes me quite ravenous .
You know I would love to rustle up a Chasens Chili anywhere So that would be lovely and I’ll keep an eye out for the Gene Tierney pork. I’ll be at my Mum’s over xmas so it might be something we can together.
Rustling Up Chasen’s Chili Anywhere – could be a good advertising slogan, it put me in mind of this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L6CbIR0Pkw xx
I remember, And if Silver Screen Suppers delivered that’s exactly how it would be ! X
Hahaha – I’m already trying to work out how I can do a blog post based around that ad – sooooo Hollywood!
Oh, dried beans! I gave them the angry director treatment years ago and told them they’d never work in my kitchen again. I salute your willingness to make even a single exception for them.
Brilliant, A! Yes, I’m already planning to use all of the dried beans I have around the place as a filling for a doorstop. TAKE THAT DRIED BEANS!
Found out about your site via a fellow TCM fan and I love the concept. More specifically, I was not aware of Mexene chili powder which surprised me as I live in the US and have family in the southwestern states (and I love to cook Tex-Mex foods.). So thanks for that mention, I’ve since purchased Mexene and I do like the smoky flavor it brings to the party. The Johnny Cash mention and photo also gave me a belly laugh, so thanks for that too! Cheers.
Well hello and welcome, Michael! Thanks for dropping by. I am thrilled to have introduced you to the deliciousness of Mexene, but even more thrilled that I gave you a belly laugh. My work here is done!