Above is the third chili that I’ve made over the holidays. I’m following the ├╝ber-purist teachings of John Thorne, who devotes a chapter to Texas Red in his book ‘Serious Pig.’ No beans, no tomatoes, no toppings. The basic ingredients are fat, fire and meat. To make the fire, I ground up various combinations of dried chilis. This edition uses about two-thirds anchos and pasillas, and about a third guajillos, pequins and a little bit of African birdseye. Breaking with the purism a bit, I also added three fresh scotch bonnets, an onion, garlic, salt, some cumin and some Mexican oregano. The meat is cubed chuck with a little bit of ground beef as a thickener, and the fat was cut off a piece of top sirloin and then rendered (I would have preferred suet, but it’s hard to find in my neighborhood.)

When this picture was taken, the chili had another 3 hours to go.

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