This is the stuff of which Hollywood legends are made. Rumor has it back when Elizabeth Taylor was filming Cleopatra in Rome she craved the chili made at Chasen's Restaurant in Los Angeles so much that she was willing to pay $100 just to have the order shipped to her. For years the recipe remained a closely guarded secret. It was said the owner, David Chasen, came to the restaurant every Sunday to privately cook up a batch which he would freeze for the week, believing that the chili was best when reheated.
1/2 pound dried pinto beans
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 pounds beef chuck, coarsely chopped
1 pound pork shoulder, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Gebhardt's brand chili powder (no substitutes for authenticity)
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Rinse the beans, picking out the debris. Place beans in a Dutch oven with water to cover. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand one hour. Drain off liquid.
- Rinse beans again. Add enough fresh water to cover beans. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour or until tender.
- Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Simmer 5 minutes. In a large skillet sauté bell pepper in oil for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Add mixture to bean mixture. Using the same skillet melt the butter and sauté beef and pork chuck until browned. Drain. Add to bean mixture along with the chili powder, salt, pepper, and cumin.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered for one hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes more or to desired consistency. Chili shouldn't be too thick--it should be somewhat liquid but not runny like soup. Skim off excess fat and serve.
Makes 6 hearty servings.