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November 12, 2007 / Tony

Boston Marathon Chili

Let me make a completely uninteresting comment to start this post: I like chili.  I really do but what does that really mean?  Do I like it hot or milder?  Do I care for beans or not?  And if I like beans, are they kidney, black, or even white beans?  What kind of meat do I like?  What kind of toppings?  And I could go on but what’s the point?  Chili is an idea not a dish; a baseline for creativity and improvisation.  There’s just so much room out there for excellence that I don’t care about any raging debates over how to “correctly” make chili.  I like meat, I like spice, and I like stew.  Hence, I’ll probably like your chili.  All I ask that the meat be tender, the liqiuds to be flavorful and well-balanced, and it to have enough heat to make me notice. 

Boston Marathon Chili is my favorite chili to make.  It satisfies all of my prerequisites and more.  It has a sublime flavor and I think it’s from the addition of pork to the mix.  That pork, in turn, gives off pork fat and everybody knows how delicious that is.  I also love the addition of red wine.  It gives the dish a bit of sophistication as well as just a hint of fruitiness that rounds out the spiciness of the chili powder and the jalapeños.  Really, give this dish a try.  And don’t skimp out on the garnishes.  The red onion is particularly nice as it not only adds texture but also a pleasant sharpness.  Here’s a picture of the dish:


And here’s the recipe:

Boston Marathon Chili, via here 

3 T vegetable oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes (preferably chuck roast)

2 lbs boneless pork butt or boneless country-style spareribs, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved

1/3 cup chili powder

1 to 2 large jalapeño chilies, chopped

2 T ground cumin

1 16 oz can black beans, drained

1/2 cup red wine

Grated cheddar cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro

Chopped red onion

Sour Cream

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 onions, bell peppers and garlic and sauté until tender, about 14 minutes. Transfer mixture to plate, using slotted spoon. Add beef and pork to Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Return onion mixture to Dutch oven. Add tomatoes with liquid, chili powder, jalapeños and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Cover Dutch oven and simmer until beef and pork are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
Add black beans and red wine to chili. Simmer uncovered until beef and pork are tender and chili thickens, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls. Serve, passing cheese, cilantro, red onions and sour cream separately.



Leave a Comment
  1. Kirsten / Dec 28 2008 2:18 pm

    The bestest Chili EVER!!! NOM NOM NOM!

  2. nancy k / Jan 8 2009 6:00 pm

    yeah, this chili pretty much fricken ROX! nom nom nom nom

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