Friday, January 8, 2010

Stageline Chili

It feels like years have gone by since my last post. I spent six days building flight attendant schedules and two days recovering. Part of the recovery included comfort food, good old fashioned chili. 
I found Fred Drexel's Butterfield Stage Line Chile recipe on the International Chili Society Website.  Fred was the California State Champ, and became the World Champion at the 1981 World Championship at the Hollywood Park Race Track. Fred Drexel took home $20,000.00 for his efforts. Not a bad piece of cash in 1981 and I wouldn't turn my nose up at it in 2010. What's good enough for the state of California is good enough for me, (except of course bankruptcy) so I printed Fred's recipe, and went to work.

One of the deciding factors in chosing this recipe was the fact it called for Gebhardt Chili Powder.  Saveur Magazine  had sang it's praises in an article last summer and I had been dying to try it out. Luckily I had bought a bottle last time I was in LA.

I changed a few things, but kept the basic flavor of Fred's award winning chili. I wanted a chunky chili, so I didn't use the ground pork, but substituted pork shoulder which I cut into 1 inch chunks. I added all the dry spices to the pot with the onions, because I believe sauteing the spices in oil brings out they're flavor. But keep in mind, I'm not the California State Champ. I also had no dry mustard so when the chili was finished I stirred in a tablespoon of Moutarde de Charroux . I'm compelled to add a french flair to everything.

I served it with homemade guacamole, sliced scallions, shredded New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese, sour cream and fresh cilantro. It was so good I decided to make it my return post. By the way, it's yummy with home made tortillas also. 
But that's another post.


1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

one handful cilantro leaves
1 medium size tomato, quartered
1/2 onion, peeled and halved
2 avocados, pits and flesh removed
juice of half lemon

 Place garlic, cilantro, tomato and onion in a food processor and pulse several times until chopped.
Add the avocado and lemon and pulse until mixed. 
Leave the avocado pit in the guacamole to prevent discoloration. I've read that this technique is a wives tale but I find it works.

All photos and text are property of The Gypsy Chef.


  1. Now, I'm craving some chili!

  2. Great post! I like chunky chili too! Your last photo was good enough to eat!

  3. I've been in about 40-50 chili cook-offs, and have won my share of awards.. That chili powder is a good baseline powder you can't go wrong with! I blend my own out of Pendery's, who sell high quality spices- check them out! My icon is the front of a tee shirt I made up- about 400+ shirts out there somewhere that say "Buffalo Dick Makes Good Chili"..People laugh or run!

  4. I have never had chili with anything but ground meat. I like this!

  5. Sounds delicious! I like chili chunky too--that's how we tried it last time and I thought it was superior to anything with ground meat. I can't wait to see your tortilla recipe! Welcome back!

  6. It looks like wonderful comfort food:) W/my winter..I like this kind of meal..The chili power looks so interesting too:)

  7. This sounds and looks delicious! Glad to have u back ~ after a long while :))xoxo zurin

  8. Chili! What a good idea! We've got more snow today, with even more predicted for tomorrow. And they're out of salt for the roads- yikes!

    This looks amazing. I like chunky chili as well. Thanks for the bonus guacamole recipe. Great stuff.

  9. What a great chili recipe... good idea to make it all chunky... no special chili powder in the house.. but boy do I want to make this baby... great recipe, Pam!

  10. Pam, I know what you mean. Once the chili was gone, I began planning another batch.

    Thanks Barbara, taking photographs at night is a challenge.
    Buffalodick, Thanks for stopping by. I just discovered Pendry's, it's probably time to start brewing my own chili powder.
    Allourfingersinthepie, I love texture in food.
    Chunky just seemed the way to go with chili. Almost like carnitas.

    HungryDog, Somehow I knew you would like chunky chili. Tortilla recipe is coming, I promise.

    Kate, it seems to be snowing like mad in your neck of the woods. A good time to relax, cook and eat. Don't forget the good book!

    Lostpastremembered, Check out buffalodick, he is all about making his own chili powder.....

  11. this looks great, i am terrible at commenting, but when i snitch your pic for food with style you know i have been by and love it!

    missed you at food for thought today, i am giving you plenty of time to get ready for the 30th now, i can't wait to see what you are reading! come by and look at mr linky on my blog and see how great everyone did, its so much fun, you will love it!