Yep, my dad is a bona fide cowboy. I grew up on a ranch with horses and cows, rodeos and hay. Dad was always a pretty good cook, especially for BBQs, big family get togethers and branding round ups. Now he can add “Chile Champ” to list, winning a local cook-off in the Fresno, California area. He made about 2 gallons of chili and not a drop was left. The judges agreed.
So of course I needed his recipe. My dad’s chili uses lots of powdered spices and vegetables, and all meat with no beans, which is Texas-style. I was inspired to use the same spice profile, but make a more vegetable-based version. Although it’s not strictly vegetarian, because I use bacon fat and pork stock. My chili is more like a chile colorado than an American chili, because it has pure ancho chile instead of a premixed chili powder. Below you will find my dad’s award-winning original, and my inspired-by recipe. Next time I have a big BBQ, though, I’m totally making the original. Yee haw!