13 October 1985

The Dutchman's Chili Recipe

My personal recipt, as copied from Robert Mitchum’s recipe, printed in the Chicago Sun Times of 13 October 1985, with minor emendations and improvements by the Dutchman.


» 3 lbs. Round steak, chuck, or short ribs.
» 5 tablespoons bacon grease, or olive oil.
» 2 onions, peeled and chopped fine.
» 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.
» 3 tablespoons chili powder.
» 11/2 teaspoons oregano
» 1 teaspoon cumin
» 3 tablespoons tomato paste
» 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
» 3 bottles of beer [Mitch suggests Mexican beer, but I find that Schlitz or Carlings will do well.]
» 2 tablespoons salt
» 1/4 cup massa flour or corn meal


• You need two pots! Make sure you have both a skillet to fry in and a large stew pot to simmer in before you start!
• Pound steak or chuck to flatten (do not pound short ribs), cut into large cubes. Heat 3 tablespoons bacon grease in large heavy pan or skillet. [Alternate method: cook four strips bacon in one tablespoon olive oil, remove cooked bacon and place in stew-pot, then use the bacon grease/olive oil to cook with.] Add beef all at once. Sear it, turning constantly, until lightly browned.
• Remove beef (keep the oil and beef fat though!) and place in stew-pot along with tomatoes (paste and crushed), and one can of beer. Put on a low heat and bring to a simmer.
• Add 2 more tablespoons of grease/oil and the onions and garlic to the skillet. Saute until the onion is limp and then cut flame. Stir in chili powder, oregano, and cumin to coat the onions.
• Dump coated onions into stew pot along with salt. Simmer, uncovered, over a very low flame until meat is tender. Add beer as liquid boils off. Cook this over-night, uncovered. Do not skim-off the fat!
• The next morning, bring the heat up a bit and stir in the masa flour. Cut flame, cover pot, let it sit all day to “tighten-up.”
• Heat it up again at dinner time. Do not skim-off the fat! Serve with sour-dough bread or tortilla chips to soak this good stuff up! The flavor is in the fat. Good when fresh, excellent when left-over.
Serve in a bowl!
• Drink your coffee black!
• Use real butter on your roll!