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Chili Recipe for SuperBowl

A friend of mine asked me to make a big pot of my “Mouth of Hell” chili for the SuperBowl. I learned to make MOH when I was a line cook in the early 70s at MarCo’s, a restaurant in Austin run by Mary Kaltman, the food coordinator for the White House during the LBJ administration. MarCo’s chef, Harrison, was the head chef at the Driskill Hotel during in the 50s and 60s and he passed his MOH chili recipe on to me. I thought about making a batch for the SuperBowl and then I realized it was this Sunday. Where does the time go?
However, if you have the time, Jason Boso of Twisted Root and Cowboy Chow, has a similar recipe. (I top each bowl with a dose of tequlia and flame it!) I’ve posted Boso’s below. Let me know.


3-5 pounds of Brisket
2 large yellow onions (sliced)
1 cup beef stock
1 large can of stewed tomatoes (28oz can)
1 can Lone Star Beer (you can have a sip!)
1 chopped Jalapeño
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
5 tablespoons Ancho Chili powder
1 tablespoon Light Chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¾ tablespoon salt

Trim and chop Brisket into ½ lb. pieces.
Sear sides of beef in large cast iron pot or braising pot.
Remove meat when caramelized on all sides and sauté sliced onions in rendered fat left in pot.
In a side sauté pan toast all spices together.
Once onions are caramelized, scrape bottom of pot and then add all ingredients and meat.
Cover meat ¾ of way with beer and stock.
Cover and simmer for 5 hours or until meat falls apart.

Serve with shredded cheddar and crackers (We serve ours with “Garlic Cheddar Spurs”, which is puff pastry cut into stars and brushed with butter and garlic and topped with shredded cheddar, then baked to a golden brown.)

9 comments on “Chili Recipe for SuperBowl

  1. Ok, there’s nothing “mouth of hell” about this. I’m a chili engineer turned vegan, but even this recipe offends. The point of chili, in my opinion, is to be hot enough (but only on the back end) that the only thing that will quench the heat is another bite of chili. It tastes incredible on the front and all the heat sneaks up on you and once it does, the cycle just repeats as you take another bite.

    Chili like that is true perfection. I always wanted to open a chili parlor here in Dallas (that vacant spot just north of Gloria’s on Greenville would make a perfect chili parlor). Why is there no good chili in restaurants these days???

  2. Shoulder. That’s the way to go. And the leaner you can go the better. Use tons of bacon grease to get the meat browned because everyone loves bacon and pig fat is simply better than other fats. You can cube it or grind on a 3/8 – ½ inch plate. It doesn’t matter. And how would 5 lbs of meat make the same chili as 3 lbs of meat would? How does a recipe give that much leeway. I’m a big fan of cooking 8 or 16 lbs. Chili should be enjoyed with friends.
    Tomatoes? Whole tomatoes? I doth protest. The paste is good. Maybe substitute a reasonable amount of tomato sauce in lieu of the stewed tomato/tomato paste combo. Plus, you can go the no salt route with tomato sauce and adjust accordingly with spices.
    More peppers. Hotter peppers. Even 2 serranos would be much better than 1 jalapeno. I like the flavor of both, so why not one big jalapeno and 2 tiny serranos if you don’t want to go the way of the habanero.
    The spices are pretty good on this recipe. I like to keep it simple, and pure Ancho powder is the way to go in terms of a good base. I would say this recipe almost keeps it too basic. A tad bit more salt and skipping on the sugar would be my preference. I’d also throw in a little garlic powder (not garlic salt) on the back end so you don’t lose the flavor when you cook this for 5 hours (maybe an hour or so before you take it off the heat). Toss in a little oregano and maybe some cayenne. The combo of fresh peppers and dried peppers is what gives you decent heat on the front and good heat on the back.

  3. The recipe above is fine, but in my opinion it needs some tweaking. Instead of using “unnamed quality” brisket, I recommend using Angus (three times the price and 10 times the flavor) and be sure to ask the butcher to trim 90% of the visible fat. Instead of using Lone Star Beer, consider what Jason Boso uses — Stella Artois. I
    find Shiner Bock to be an acceptable substitute. Insofar as the dry spices goes, what’s mysteriously missing is an important instruction; that is, toasting the dry spices (ancho chili, light chili and cumin) beforehand, as the flavors will be FAR more pronounced and will blend perfectly into the chili. Those lucky people eating the finished product will quickly realize that the chef/cook is aware of terroir which is such an essential “element” in this recipe.

  4. Made this for the SuperBowl. Ate it as a standalone and then as a topping to a hot dog (ala Big D’s Dog Texas Frito Chili Dog).

    Have to say, simple to make, and got thumbs up from all who eat it. I would, however, wait to put all of the onions and tomatoes in til the last hour. So that they are down cooked down to nothing by the end of 5 hours.