January 10, 2018

Mean Green Dominates Chili Queens Moniker

A good bowl of red – chili that is – has long been a favorite food at hunting and fishing camps in Texas since the meat and spice concoction was created by the chili queens of San Antonio.

Historians note that the women serving up street food in the Alamo City created a dish they called chili to prepare poor cuts of meat to make them more palatable. Meat was the focus back then and should continue to be the focus.

While admittedly, not many of the camp chef crowd would relish the moniker of chili queen, most of them can manage to whip up a decent pot of chili that really hits the spot.

Good chili is hard to describe and even harder to create without a lot of experimentation to make the concoction the perfect bowl of meaty goodness.

Everyone seems to have their own touches, but if the recipe includes beans, true chili fans turn away in disgust.

If any member of your culinary crowd desires beans in their bowl, serve the cooked legumes as a side dish.

During my chili experimentation period, I’ve tried everything from shark and alligator tail to dove breasts and feral hog as the featured meat in a chili dish. I like to be creative and normally don’t reveal all the ingredients until after my diners try their first bowl.

One of my guests once asked “Did you make vegetarian chili?” and I quickly replied, “This IS vegetarian chili – everything in it was a vegetarian.”

With experimentation in mind and drawing upon the abundance of feral hog meat on the hoof in most parts of Texas, I whipped up the following recipe as a change of pace from the normal bowl of chili.

The name is courtesy of my college days picking up a journalism degree at North Texas State University at Denton, where the football team is known as the “Mean Green.”

That moniker came about from the fact “Mean” Joe Greene graduated from North Texas before becoming part of the legendary “Steel Curtain” of the National Football League’s Pittsburg Steelers.

Personally, I like the term of Mean Green a lot better than Chili Queen, but feel free to use whatever fits your pistol.

Mean, Not Queen, Green Chili

3 pounds feral hog meat, cubed
Chef Ralph’s Super Seasoning
3 tablespoons bacon grease
1 pound feral hog pan sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, chopped, including tops
3 tablespoons cumin powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
1 can (28 ounces) tomatillos
1 can (7 ounces) green chilies, chopped
1 seranno pepper, seeded and chopped

Season cubed meat on all sides with Chef Ralph’s Super Seasoning. Heat bacon grease in Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add seasoned meat and brown on all sides. Remove browned meat to a warm platter. Add sausage, breaking into small pieces as it browns on all sides. Add onion, garlic, and green onions to browned sausage and cook about five minutes, stirring often. Add remaining ingredients, including browned meat cubes and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until meat is tender. Serve with a side of cooked navy beans, if desired.

Now, let's get cooking!